The Prescott City Council approved the construction of a new cell tower to be built in Prescott by a 7-1 vote after holding a public hearing Monday evening for citizens of Prescott to let their voices be heard.
Council Member Susie Meeks was the sole vote against the construction after voicing multiple concerns about possible property value decreases to residents in proximity to the tower as well as worrying about not everyone in Prescott being able to get service from the tower.
“I talked to some of the residents out at Ridgewood and their main concern is about their property value,” she said.
Greg Staggs, a representative of AT&T Wireless who was at the meeting to lessen concerns surrounding the tower, told Meeks that that shouldn’t be a concern.
“There are pages and pages of research done for property values around cell towers and they found that in five years, the property value is still rising as before,” he said. “It either is neutral or it increases.”
The board also received many opposition letters from residents and former residents that no longer live in Prescott emailing their objection to the construction of the tower.
“Reasons [we have] to deny the rezoning: number one, change of views, number two negative effects on non-industrial zone property, number three, increase traffic, number four, pollution to water, number five, pollution to air, number six, close proximity to our land and property, and number seven potential health concerns over cell tower waves [such as] headaches, birth defects, low sperm count, infertility, memory loss, sleeplessness, cardiovascular stress, brain cancer, etc,” one opposition letter read.
Council Member Jerry Hightower asked Staggs to clarify the concerns about the health risks of the cell towers that was brought up in the opposition letters, which Staggs says isn’t something to be worried about.
“There’s been a lot of talk about 5G for some reason because the media is so strong these days,” Staggs said. “One person says something about 5G and it becomes a fire storm. A stronger signal comes from the microwave in your kitchen than what comes from the top of the tower. I’ve been in this business since ’95 and there have been no studies that show that radio frequencies have had any affect on people’s health.”
Tony Price, the basketball coach at Prescott High School and probably the person living closest to where the cell tower is supposed to be built, spoke up at the meeting in support of its construction.
“I have no cell service right now and I have to get a booster to get any kind of cell signal,” he said. “I’m the one that lives on the property and I’m more excited about it than not. The pros outweigh the cons in my opinion.”
With the 7-1 vote by the council, the construction of the new cell tower will soon begin in the hopes to bring better cell service to the citizens of Prescott.