Cell Tower Controversy in Bainbridge - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cell Tower Controversy in Bainbridge

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

October 28, 2008

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - We've all been there. On the road, with little or no reception.

That's one of the reasons the Decatur County Planning department is working to put in a new cell tower. A decision that made some residents furious.

"They haven't done enough research to see if the cell towers are harming pregnant women, children, or any other group of population yet," says Julie Pope.

Pope is one of the hundreds of people who will live within a mile or two of the cell tower,  if it is approved.

She's worried radiation from the tower will endanger her health and the health of future generations.

"One of the arguments is don't you use a microwave, don't you use a cell phone? Yes you use a cell phone in emergencies, you don't use your cell phone 24/7.

But some people do carry a cell phone on them at all times. And with poor reception in Decatur County, that raises some safety issues.

"A lot of people use the cell towers for reporting violations or some other assistance they need from public safety positions. So cell towers are a very much needed service in the county," says Planning Director Paul Soudi.

Two weeks ago when residents found out about the proposed tower, many voiced their opposition at the county commission meeting. At Tuesday's meeting, a decision will be made.

Julie says she doesn't think her voice will change anyone's decision. But says she and other residents weren't given enough notice about what was going on around them.

"We don't live in Iran, we don't live in Afghanistan. We live in the USA. I feel like as a taxpayer I have the right to know what is happening in my backyard," says Pope.

Tuesday's commision meeting is at 7. Julie says she, along with several neighbors, will be there to protest. Some neighbors also talked of concerns that the tower will bring down the value of their property. Feedback