Plans to add a 135-foot monopole to the Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ (AACPS) campus, have stirred up agitation in the Maryland community. Milestone Communications has already erected seven similar towers in the area to address coverage gaps, and unhappy residents voiced their objections at a recent meeting, reports the Severna Park Voice.
The school district and Milestone have been working together since 2012, and have an agreement that brings in a steady revenue stream for the AACPS.
The district gets 40 percent of the profits earned from the towers, plus $25,000 after the tower is constructed, plus $5,000 from each additional carrier who occupies the tower. Despite the clear financial benefit derived from the tower, some residents are concerned that cell towers present a safety hazard.
Milestone representative, Matt Penning, informed those gathered that they have consulted a third party to conduct RF emission research, which confirms that this proposed tower does not indicate an exposure risk. “We’re routinely 100 to 1,000 times below the safety limits,” he said. Before even suggesting the AACPS location, Milestone investigated alternative sites, but Penning said none met coverage and placement criteria.
Studies by Milestone have determined that if constructed, the monopole would be in compliance with RF regulations established by the FCC. Representative Penning attempted to allay concerns by noting that Milestone would continue to monitor their towers for safety compliance.
Pasadena County parent, Rena Vasquez, remained unconvinced of Milestone’s assurances, saying, “No clear evidence of harm does not prove safety.”
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