FRANK SARRIS PUBLIC LIBRARY

Observer-Reporter

Frank Sarris Public Library in Canonsburg

Crown Castle Communications has scheduled a town hall meeting to answer questions about the company's plans to install a cellphone antenna in North Strabane Township, near two Canon-McMillan schools.

Residents are fighting Crown Castle's intentions to build a 33-foot antenna on a utility right-of-way in a residential neighborhood. The site is near Borland Manor Elementary and North Strabane Intermediate schools and a ballfield.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Frank Sarris Public Library in Canonsburg.

It will include a presentation by Crown Castle representatives, followed by a question and answer session.

A representative from Crown Castle said Wednesday the company plans to erect an antenna, not a cellphone tower.

A petition circulated by township resident Christopher DeAndrea has been signed by more than 900 people. 

The petition lists reasons residents don't want the antenna in that location. Among them are concerns that cellphone towers and antennas pose potential health risks, that property values will be negatively impacted, and that residents have adequate cellphone and wireless data coverage.

"We realize that cellphone towers/antennas are needed, and we are not fighting the progression of technology," DeAndrea wrote in an email. "We are simply asking that Crown Castle put the (antenna) in a different location to protect the health of our family, friends, neighbors and our children."

Crown Castle had submitted an application to build the antenna to North Strabane Township, but pulled the application in September because of a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission has jurisdiction over cell towers and equipment, not municipalities.

The company maintains that the scientific and health communities have concluded there are no established health hazards from exposure to RF emissions within the established FCC guidelines.

Crown Castle has 40,000 cell towers nationwide. 

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