Roanoke School Board Expels Tower Contract Citing RF Fears

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The Roanoke County School Board (VA) voted Thursday to terminate an agreement with Milestone Communications to build towers at two schools, reported the Roanoke Times. However, in October, the same school board unanimously approved to move the project forward based on a contract with Milestone inked in February 2016.

Since the vote in October, board members said they received many comments from the community about health hazards that can be caused by exposure to tower radiation.

 Four speakers shared research with the board that indicated tower exposure could be harmful, and a school board member cited studies to the contrary, supporting the towers.  

“There’s science on both sides of this issue,” Chairman Don Butzer said. “The little bit of revenue that we were going to get from this is not worth the added level of anxiety that we would create by approving these things. That’s what’s changed my mind.”

If both tower projects come to fruition, Roanoke County could benefit financially. Milestone would share 40 percent of its revenue from each tower with the school system, along with a $20,000 one-time fee and $5,000 each time a carrier receives permits, per the Times.

The school board’s contract stipulates it can still proceed with the project by bringing the issue before the county’s planning commission, according to the Times. However, Milestone would need approval from the school board to lease the properties for the towers.

December 16, 2019

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