Debate over cell towers in Winston-Salem continues

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Residents of the Silver Chalice neighborhood are one of two locations that could soon have a cell phone tower in their backyard.

Monday the city council put on hold making a decision on the towers after city staff say they never heard from any residents of the Silver Chalice neighborhood.

“When I found out about [the meetings] I had about 2 weeks,” said neighborhood resident Kim Poteat. “The meeting was at 4:30 in the afternoon and I was rushing to get home but still missed the meeting.”

Poteat says the mailer she received about the proposed tower also include a non-working phone number for a representative of the American Towers Company. The company and AT&T are hoping to erect two towers in residential neighborhoods, one off Burke Mill Road and the other off Reidsville Road, which is in Poteat’s backyard.

“I’m concerned if it’s going to put off anything hazardous. I’m concerned if it will attract more lighting, you know you get more electrical activity,” Poteat said. “I’m hoping they could find another area.”

Poteat’s main concern on the health effects of a tower may never be used in the decision making. Federal law prevents the city council from making their decisions based on the environmental effects of radio transmission.

“It’s pretty much in my back yard,” said resident Andrew Thompson, who questions if the 150+ foot tower will hurt his property value. “Anything that would improve signals for cell phone I’m for that, but if it’s going to disrupt the property and take away from the property value we don’t want that.”

The city council hopes another month will give residents of the neighborhood more time to contact city staff and company officials with questions.

Residents can also share their concerns before the city council at their next meeting July 7.

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