Third Tower Planned for Richland’s Two School Grounds

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A Milestone Communications tower planned for Kelly Mill Middle School in Columbia, SC has received some backlash from concerned parents, according to Cola Daily. A group of parents created a petition against the tower, and there will be a school board meeting for parents to voice their concerns on May 28.

The district’s Chief Communications Officer Libby Roof, said the contract with Milestone Communications was signed in 2016, and the company already installed two towers within Richland District Two at Summit Parkway Middle and Blythewood High School. 

The Kelly Mill Middle tower is planned to be near the football/soccer field, which borders Lake Carolina Elementary. 

According to Cola Daily, the biggest concern among the parents is the exposure to RF and radiation that their children might experience. In response to the parents’ concern, Roof said, “The facts and research known at this time from multiple agencies suggest there is very little to no risk of people getting cancer from cell phone towers.” For some parents, the potential risks are still too high. One parent said, “There’s not enough long-term data to support either side. Because of that unknown risk, I can’t see why the district would pursue this.”

Several parents also claimed that the school board has not been clear about the tower plans, and that parents have not been properly notified. According to Roof, a community meeting was held at the school, a notice about the tower was placed on the Kelly Mill Middle website, and a meeting was held between the SIC chairperson and Kelly Mill Middle principal. Roof also mentioned a safety meeting that was held in April, where “Milestone presented a presentation outlining the purpose, process, and logistics of installing a cell tower and answered questions about safety concerns.”

Roof said that Milestone would conduct research, “on cell tower radiation, community/school input, and proper approvals from the county and state approval agencies” before the final decision on the tower plans were made. The funds received from Milestone Communications through the contract go into the General Fund, which “is used to cover operating expenses including salaries, benefits, utilities, contracts and supplies,” according to Roof.

May 24, 2019

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