2015-10-01 / Opinion

Put Cell Carriers on Notice

To the Editor:

In response to the NTW 9/24/15 editorial about the Rogers High School cell tower, I agree that we have heard plenty about this issue from everyone other than those who have to live under it, whose property values have been devalued, who have had health issues raised for them, their children and school children, including the fact that it was clandestinely built over a 20-year interval without standard notification and proper legally-required planning and zoning procedures.

Those affected are merely looking for breathing room via automatic renewal language in the standing leases. If the School Committee does not notify the three carriers that those automatic renewal clauses will be put on hold and suspended at this time, then unfortunately this discussion will continue for many years to come.

The committee, at this point, hasrefusedtodothisona4to3 vote. I would ask that those four members need to reconsider their position before a number of new members are elected and then it starts all over again, which no one wants. From the beginning, the affected neighbors have asked why the School Committee has become involved in such a commercial venture, which they are unqualified to deal with. It is outside of their educational charge. At the meetings, it was asked if those dissenting members would like the tower in their neighborhoods and behind their houses. None have responded.

The commercial tower in a residential zone is not a School Committee issue, especially with the fire station cell tower already standing not 500 feet away. It is time to put the carriers on notice of no automatic renewals and time for the City of Newport to work with the carriers on a proper location within the city.

Bill Falcone


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