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Northern Wisconsin Residents Decry Cell Tower Expansion

Some Who Would Live Close To Proposed Tower Raise Health Concerns

cell phone towers
Andrew Hart (CC-BY-SA)  

Residents in some Wisconsin communities are pushing back against proposed cell tower projects, although supporters of the change say it has improved wireless service.

The city of Washburn recently approved a permit for a cell tower on city-owned land. Administrator Scott Kluver said some residents are unhappy.

“There are a number of homes within 500 to 600 feet of the proposed tower construction,” he said.

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Kluver said state law changes in recent years have limited the city’s authority and time to act on tower permitting, but he said they expect better cell coverage for emergency services.

Wisconsin Wireless Association President Jeff Roznowski said that’s one reason changes were made.

“If it doesn’t work and it’s very difficult to deploy the infrastructure, then people aren’t getting the advantages of why they have the service,” he said.

Some community members are raising health concerns over their proximity to the towers. Roznowski said the law has seen unsuccessful legal challenges in Cedarburg and Prairie du Sac.