County residents have rights too

Published 12:51 pm Monday, October 27, 2008

I am asking all citizens to attend the Oct. 28 meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners. It will be held at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Building located at 203 W. Broughton St. (old Babcock Furniture Store).

This meeting will have particular interest to residents in the area of 1555 Newton Road where an application has been made to construct a cell phone tower. This includes the area of not only Newton Road, but Oak Ridge Lane, Aryola Drive, Brock Street, Flint River Heights, those across the river from Flint River Heights and Pond Town Road.

The meeting was not listed in the notice of the Sept. 27 issue of The Post-Searchlight for the Planning Board meeting at which time this application was approved. Citizens did not have the opportunity to voice their concerns. There was a small notice in the Oct. 11 issue where it was going for final approval before the county commission.

I have been informed that the county is not required to notify landowners. As taxpayers we have the right to know what is going on. Are the rights and concerns of tax-paying county residents not important?

The county needs to change the way they handle things like this. It took vicious dog attacks to get a county animal ordinance. What will have to happen to implement and enforce zoning in the county?

Most cell towers are located in remote areas away from homes. This is a highly populated, residential area and should not be subjected to the possible health risks associated with living in very close proximity to these towers.

The cell phone companies will argue that there is no proof any danger exists. Research is on-going due to the length of time these towers have been in existence. There is nothing to prove that they aren’t risky.

According to research available, the most likely risks are to infants and small children whose skulls haven’t fully developed enough to protect their brain, to the male reproductive organs and the altering of cells.

We were told for years by tobacco companies that the information being released of possible risks associated with smoking was false. Their concern was only with profit. It took years of research but we all know how that turned out. The stakes are too high.

We deserve to be protected from the radiation projected from cell towers. We as individuals have the responsibility of educating and protecting ourselves and property. Our elected officials have the responsibility to do the same.

Besides health factors, anything undesirable for any reason can have a negative impact on property values and home sales. Please come to this meeting, let your voice be heard and stand up for your rights.

Respectfully,

Julie G. Pope Bainbridge, Ga.