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Is cell tower really asthetic problem?

STORY BY MEG LAUGHLIN, (Week of August 30, 2012)
Photo Illustration

A much-needed cell phone tower that’s probably coming to Indian River Shores soon will likely be installed next to police headquarters and will be a metal pole between 80 to 150 feet tall.

No faux coconut palm or pine tree, just a pole, say Shores councilmen – a pole without a flag.

While some neighbors worry about aesthetics because of its height, most residents welcome the pole because they’re tired of dropped cell phone calls.

Currently, cell phone reception in the Shores depends on a tower three to four miles north of the town’s center, which dramatically limits cellular service for many.  The plan is for the new pole to bring better reception to Verizon and AT&T customers.

“We especially need Verizon service,” said Shores Mayor Tom Cadden. 

Verizon is expected to improve reception for the public safety department which has been plagued by spotty service.

Shores police complain that on a typical shift six to 10 calls get dropped. Also, police notebook computer service is unpredictable because of poor connectivity.

“The specifics of who pays for what haven’t been worked out yet,“ said Councilman Fran Atchison. “But because it’s for public safety, some of it might involve taxpayers.”

About 10 years ago, Shores residents vetoed a cell tower because of concerns over how it would look.

But with increased cell phone use, they have become increasingly frustrated with having to walk around their homes and yards in search of service, which often cuts out shortly after they find it. 

At the Aug. 23 council meeting, no one spoke against the cell tower and Town Manager Richard Jefferson said he is moving forward on installation.
No date is set for installation and service.