With a 6-2 vote in Verizon’s favor, the Bristol Borough Council in Bucks County, PA has approved plans for a 128-foot cell tower. The lease agreement will allow the telecom to site a tower on Jefferson Avenue, which also hosts the town’s sports fields, reports Bucks Local News.
Taking a pragmatic approach, Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe said, “It’s going to go up somewhere in that area whether we like it or not. They have a dead spot and they need to fill that gap. The question is do we want $28,000 a year and put it in right field or do we want someone else to get the $28,000 and we still get the tower?”
While the majority of council members agreed with DiGuiseppe, one of the dissenters expressed worries about possible health issues. “I’m not sure of the potential health risks of kids in that area. I’m not comfortable voting for this,” stated Councilman Tony Devine.
“I get what Tony is saying. I’m not saying that’s an unreasonable position,” said Councilman Greg Pezza. “From what science was presented to us, I feel comfortable. And getting that money would not be a bad idea.”
None of the council members disputed the benefit of additional revenue for the Borough, according to Bucks Local News. A group discussion centered around the likelihood that the need for better broadband coverage in the area meant Verizon would erect a tower with or without the council’s support. By agreeing to work with Verizon, the council members voted to secure the available tower funds for the local government rather than losing them to a private enterprise.
Verizon still needs to face the zoning board, the planning commission, and the borough council for final approval. DiGuiseppe speculated that Verizon could be persuaded to elaborate on any potential health issues during this process.
“We’re going to get a tower in that location whether it’s on our property or on private property,” stated Councilman Girard. “In my opinion, if you’re going to get a cell tower, why not take it for the taxpayers.”
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