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Some residents of Washington County are raising concerns over a proposed 160-foot Verizon cell tower on Worley Road, which was previously brought to public attention in April. 

A Planning Commission meeting on Monday, May 6, saw a debate over the potential impacts of the tower, with residents voicing worries ranging from property value declines to health risks.

During the meeting, Washington County residents expressed opinions about the placement of the new Verizon cell tower. A principal concern for one resident was the potential decline in property value due to the tower’s visibility from his backyard. He proposed an alternative location at the rear of the property, where it would be perceived as less obtrusive.

Another resident, a local beekeeper, raised environmental and health concerns. She cited anecdotal evidence suggesting that the electromagnetic frequency emitted by such towers could disrupt bees’ navigational abilities, potentially harming her beekeeping business which forms the basis of her retirement income. 

Additionally, she highlighted fears of health risks such as migraines, allegedly caused by the low hum emitted by the towers, requesting written assurances from Verizon or the planning committee covering all potential health impacts.

On the other side of the debate, the property owner hosting the proposed site argued in favor of the planned location, noting that both Verizon and the Planning Commission consider it optimal for maximizing the tower’s reach. 

This resident also presented findings from property appraisers and real estate agents indicating that the presence of a cell tower would not negatively impact local property values. 

He said the tower is necessary and that poor signal strength in the area frequently results in a lack of timely weather updates and difficulties in contacting emergency services during storms, posing a significant risk to public safety.

Following the public commentary, the Planning Commission decided to move forward with a recommendation for the tower to the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, with a decisive meeting scheduled for May 16.