Cambridge Idaho: Is the new cell phone tower illegal?
Posted in the Call Forum
#1 May 25, 2013
Cambridge, Idaho - The town of Cambridge, Idaho has decided to install the latest cell phone tower technology directly next to the elementary school there. Cambridge School Board members and Mayor Nanette Rhodes were behind the decision to install the equipment only 90 feet from the school. Already there has been some controversy about the cell phone tower, but Cambridge officials felt they could not turn down the AT&T cell phone tower because the cell phone tower company gave them legal advice that Cambridge would be sued if the tower was denied.
Residents of Cambridge have expressed dismay that the town's officials did not hold a public hearing to find out if the town residents wanted the cell phone tower installed or not. According to Susan Hayes, "They just put the cell phone tower up next to our kids, and no one even told us before they did it." The Cambridge School Board has defended the decision to install the cell phone tower, citing financial difficulties and insisting that the new cell phone tower would benefit the school children with the latest technology available to them and new educational opportunities related to the enormous increase in data transmission that will be available to teachers and students now that the latest technology is installed.
A group of citizens concerned with the health effects and lack of public input related to the cell phone tower has started a website where they are calling for the matter to be settled in court. The website can be viewed at: http://cambridgeidaholawsuit.com . According to the public interest group, the residents were not notified and the town officials did not have the legal right to install the cell phone tower without first consulting with the public. The group also maintains that cell phone towers placed directly next to schools has been studied, and that schoolchildren are negatively affected by the microwave radiation of such technology.
But as Cambridge, Idaho attempts to reinvent itself as a draw for urban tourists, it seems very likely that the cell phone tower was installed to draw visitors as well as benefit the children and their educational needs. According to Susan Hayes, "The school system will receive $550 per month to have that cell phone tower up next to our kids. Nothing like that is worth the health of our children. And the cell phone tower company gets a tax credit from the government and doesn't even have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. We feel sold out, and we're glad this matter is being taken up by private landowners and local parents who are very concerned about the long-term health effects of having their kids so close to a cell phone tower every day at school."
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