Verizon plans new cell tower

WATERTOWN — A Watertown Center Loop resident is expressing health concerns about the construction of a cell tower that’s planned to be built on outer Washington Street.

Verizon wants to build the 124-foot-tall tower at 19079 Route 11, behind the Rent-a-Wreck business. A public hearing for the project has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday at the Watertown Town Hall, 22867 County Route 67.

The property is owned by businessman Jim Widrick, who plans to lease it to Verizon.

Anne Donato, who lives at 18973 Watertown Center Loop, sent a letter to the town Planning Board about her concerns after she was notified about the public hearing. A flier also has been distributed pointing out her concerns.

In the letter, she said that cell towers are relatively new and not a lot of testing has been conducted in this country on their effects.

She’s worried about the RF waves that would be generated by the cell tower causing cancer. She wrote that cell towers have “not been proven safe.”

A German study concluded that people living near cell towers have an increased chance of getting cancer from them, she said.

She’s urging other residents to attend the public hearing to express their concerns.

According to the American Cancer Society website, there’s no strong evidence that exposure to RF waves from cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects but that does not mean that they have been proven to be absolutely safe.

The American Cancer Society said most expert organizations agree that more research is needed to help clarify the issue, especially for any possible long-term effects.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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