Commissioners vote in favor of cell phone tower at Murrayville Elm.

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Commissioners heard from concerned parents Tuesday night, during a public hearing in regards to a new cell phone tower being built at Murrayville Elementary.

The school board has approved plans for AT&T to lease land at the school to build a 90-foot cell phone tower.  In return, the telecommunications company would pay New Hanover County Schools $24,000 a year.

AT&T says it's a win-win situation because they get to build a new tower and donate money towards education, but some parents are concerned the towers can cause cancer and other medical conditions.

"If there's any doubt, whatsoever, it shouldn't be placed at a school," said parent Angela Peterson.  "There are 650 kids at that school.  If one of them gets sick from a cell phone tower, it's not worth it."

The tower is expected to be built in Brook Baker's backyard.  She said her family will move away if it is built.

"We don't need this in our children's playground either," said Baker.  "It needs to be somewhere else."

Bill Hance, assistant of operations for New Hanover County Schools, assures parents they would do nothing to cause a safety problem at the school.  He said their first and primary concern is the safety of the students and staff.

A 2006 report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) found no scientific evidence that radio frequency signals from cell towers cause adverse health effects.

New Hanover County Commissioners voted Tuesday in favor of the tower.  They say it would meet all the necessary zoning requirements and wouldn't cause any health problems.

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