T-Mobile Seeks Cell Tower at Smoke Rise Elementary

Cell phone service provider T-Mobile is asking permission to build a cell tower on a corner of Smoke Rise Elementary property. The company would pay a lease that's not yet been negotiated, and parents are seeking a fat deal for their school.

Cell phone service provider T-Mobile is asking permission to build a cell tower on a corner of Smoke Rise Elementary property. The company would pay a lease that's not yet been negotiated, and parents are seeking a fat deal for their school.

"Until we see financials, there's not a lot we can comment on," said Smoke Rise father Rory Ffrench, except that "those funds should stay here."

He was one of two dozen or so parents who came to a May 10 open house at the school to hear T-Mobile's pitch.

The company wants a 150-foot tall tower, shaped like a pine tree, at Hugh Howell Road and Silver Hill Road to cover a bit of dead zone. It's common for carriers to try to skirt hostile property owners in residential areas by building towers at neighborhood schools. Fulton hosts several. The company is seeking permission to build on 12 school sites throughout DeKalb.

T-Mobile's site plan is preliminary, said Atlanta Senior Development Manager Shawn Blassingill.  For the lease amount, he added "we don't talk money, we leave that to the board."

The school board negotiates with the company and must approve any lease. It can write several kinds of provisions. 

For example, at a Cobb County school this year, T-Mobile offered $30,000 per year for a tower. The cash would have been split 60-40 between the county school board and the individual school. After hearings and delay, the Cobb board voted to put off the iss­ue indefinitely.  Last year in Roswell, the company offered a one-time $30,000 payment to one elementary school, plus regular payment to the county. Parental opposition shut down the deal.

Some Smoke Rise parents suggested maximizing a payout rather than cutting off a source of funds. "It's inevitable that the board will succumb to money," commented father Kriss Nash, after the T-Mobile presentation. "If we're going to accept the risk," he added, "we don't need this money to go into a [county] pot. We need it to go here."

One parent wondered if the tower could stand up to strong wind. A few more want to be sure that the tower would come down if it becomes obsolete.

Blassingill said "if we don't need it, it is taken down." He added that typical T-Mobile leases last 30 years and that the technology is "far from" being able to bypass towers.

If the DeKalb school board votes to approve the cell towers, Blassingill explained that his company must still get zoning and building approval. That would take up to two months, he predicted, and constructing the tower would take another five weeks.

Telecoms giant AT&T is seeking to buy T-Mobile USA, at a price of $39 billion. The two companies will start testifying to federal government antitrust authorities this week, asking for clearance. 

Brian June 12, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Rob: I visited your junk science website and made my way through the misinformation. See my comments here: http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/articles/reception-to-new-tuscany-hills-cell-tower-gets-static-residents-concerned-about-possible-health-risks-to-kids?ncid=following_comment
Cheryl Miller June 12, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Issue is on the agenda for tomorrow, June 13 at 6 p.m. Anyone can attend. You may also sign a petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Stop-Brockett-Cell-Towers/ and include the name of your specific school with your e-signature.
Brian June 13, 2011 at 02:02 AM
I watched the video. I saw a TV news report followed by some eerie music and circles emanating from a drawing of a cell tower. I did not see anything that suggests Cell Towers cause cancer. Would you mind clueing me in?
Brian June 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM
My town, Hempstead NY, is on the list "Defeated Cell Towers." Our service continues to deteriorate. Many residents are furious with the town and realize that the anti-wireless zealots are idiots. These zealots presented many ridiculous arguments similar to those above and made up facts as needed. I doubt the zealots contacted any RF engineers nor epidemiologists. You will need more towers to create a scalable bandwidth. In fact, for any given capacity, the more towers the lower the aggregate radiation. Look how rude and childish the Hempstead zealots were in this Patch video: http://merrick.patch.com/articles/cell-antenna-debate-stirs-emotions-at-civic-meeting#video-582731 At 1:00 someone presents a report debunking links between cancer and cell tower from the British Medical Journal (BMJ), one of the world's leading medical publications. He is shouted down "didn't they say that (not dangerous) about cigarettes?" and then appluse. Listen carefully at 1:10 - 1:13, to the taunt "Capitalist Pig! Capitalist Pig!" The zealots fabricate their facts -- per wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMJ#cite_note-6 "The journal (BMJ) also carried the seminal papers on the causal effects of smoking on health and lung cancer and other causes of death in relation to smoking." This is just a sample of the ignorance, stupidity, conceit and deceit of the anti-wireless zealots. THESE IGNORAMUSES WILL DESTROY YOUR CELL SERVICE.
Janis June 21, 2011 at 10:36 PM
It doesn't seem that the people in this community really understand what a cell tower on school property means. It means a commercial entity on public school land. It means 24/7 access by company workers. It means the placement of a HAZMAT (hazardous materials) site on playgrounds. It means trucks driving over school grounds (can mess up football fields, playgrounds, trucks arrive DURING recess) and it means maintenance of the grounds issues as the compound becomes overgrown. Cell tower and stranger danger: http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/01/stranger-danger-cell-towers-on-school.html Look at the dirt road created by all the truck traffic to the cell tower on the playground at this elementary school: http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/01/weast-puts-strangers-on-playground.html Read about the HAZMAT issue and T-Mobile response to comply with county law: http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/03/weast-puts-hazmat-on-playgrounds.htmld Here is what the base of the cell tower looks like at one school. Maintenance of site: http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2010/01/weasts-cell-tower-jungle-gym-for-kids.html


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