Advanced Search
Home
Login
Get Published!
Subscribe
Local News
• Headline News
• Premium News
• Obituaries
• Business
• Community
• In One Ear
• LNG Controversy
• Lewis & Clark
• Polls
• Gearhart Plane Crash
• Dec. '07 Storm
• Crime Reports
Oregon News
Nation/World
Opinion
Local Sports
Lifestyle / A&E
Obituaries

Fishing
Visitors' Guide
Coastal Menu Guide
Weather Cams
Recipes

Classifieds
Marketplace
Print Ads
Business Directory

Photo Gallery
Photo Reprints
Multimedia
Digital Pages
Game Center
Blogs
Links

Special Publications
Climate Change
Child Care
Fort Clatsop
Clinton's Visit

Submit/Forms

About Us
Advertising Info
Whom To Contact

Feedback
Email Updates
Site Map





Subscriber Login:
First Name:
Last Name:
Subscriber Number:
 



home : LOCAL NEWS Wednesday, December 03, 2008

12/3/2008 11:35:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article
Comment on this article
 
Cannon Beach approves cell phone tower
Despite residents’ concerns about health issues, city OKs structure

By NANCY MCCARTHY
The Daily Astorian

CANNON BEACH - Despite testimony from several Cannon Beach residents expressing concerns that a 60-foot cell phone tower could cause health problems, the City Council approved a 25-year lease with Verizon Wireless.

The vote was 4-1. In favor were Councilors Nancy Giasson, Jerome Arnold and Melissa Cadwallader and Mayor Jay Raskin; Councilor Sam Steidel opposed the idea.

Verizon will build the tower adjacent to an existing 60-foot tower operated by T-Mobile on 900 square feet of city-owned property at East Washington and Spruce streets. An equipment building also will be constructed.

The lease calls for Verizon to pay the city $1,000 a month for the first five years. The lease then will be extended for four more five-year terms at increased rental rates of 15 percent per term.

The tower or "monopole," will provide digital technology for two-way mobile voice communication, paging, data transmission, voice mail and conference calling to downtown Cannon Beach, on the beach and along U.S. Highway 101. Although Verizon operates two facilities north and south of Cannon Beach, their location and elevation prevent them from providing coverage inside Cannon Beach buildings, according to a report presented to the planning commission in July.

Ted McLean, site specialist with RealCom Associates, who negotiated the contract with the city, said the 25 -year contract would enable Verizon to realize its investment.

"It's a tremendous capital investment - between $500,000 and $750,000 to install a tower," McLean told Councilor Giasson, who expressed concern about the length of the lease. "It takes 10 to 15 years to recover the cost."

McLean told the council and the city planning commission earlier that Verizon considered locating its antenna on T-Mobile's tower, but the available space on the tower is too low to meet Verizon's coverage requirements. To provide proper coverage, the tower would have to be 100 feet high, he said.

Although several people said they worried about the potential of cancer and leukemia rates increasing from radio frequency emissions when the tower is in place, Planning Director Rainmar Bartl reminded the council that the 1996 federal telecommunications act prohibits the council from considering potential health effects when siting a tower.

Cannon Beach resident Ed Johnson criticized the use of city open space for the tower's placement, the amount of room the tower and equipment building would take and the potential harm it would do to humans and animals.

"I'm here to speak for those who can't speak for themselves," Johnson said.

Several people asked whether the city would be liable for lawsuit if someone became ill. The council also asked city attorney Tamara Herdener about liability.

"If we're not allowed to look at health concerns, how can we be liable?" asked Giasson. "It seems to me the Federal Communications Commission should be liable."

Herdener said she didn't see how the city could be sued, "but I can't see 25 or 30 years down the road," Herdener said.

Councilor Arnold said the council was trying to make a decision "based on incomplete knowledge."

"Science is still way out there on the health effects," he said. "They used to say asbestos was safe. Now they find it's a huge problem. I'm not sure we can make a decision based on health effects. Maybe that's why the FCC prevented us."

The council also wondered if it could break the contract after five years, but Herdener called it a "pretty tight" agreement that could be dissolved only if one side didn't live up to its obligations.

City Manager Rich Mays said the council could ask Verizon to report on its technological progress every five years. "There might be a time when cell towers won't be necessary," he said.




Article Comment Submission Form
Article comments are not posted immediately to the site. Each submission must be approved by an editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment. If you do not wish your e-mail to be included, please note that in your comments.
Name:
Telephone:
E-mail:
Passcode: This form will not send your comment unless you copy exactly the passcode seen below into the text field. This is an anti-spam device to help reduce the automated email spam coming through this form.

Please use all lowercase letters.
Message:
   
Featured Links
Vince Williams Suzuki
Bayshore Animal Hospital
AAMCO of Astoria













 


HOME | LOCAL NEWS | JOB LISTINGS | AUTOS | HOMES | OBITUARIES | SPORTS | PHOTOS | CONTACT
OPINIONS | CALENDAR | RSS | SEARCH | A&E | SUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY | BUSINESS PROFILES
P.O. BOX 210, 949 EXCHANGE ST. ASTORIA, OREGON 97103 | 503.325.3211 or 800.781.3211
COPYRIGHT 2008 EAST OREGONIAN PUBLISHING CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 Software © 1998-2008 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved