Neighbors concerned about Rotunda West cell tower

Some Rotunda West neighbors say they are against Verizon’s plan to install a 135-foot mono-pole cell tower in their neighborhood.

The cell tower would go near L.A. Ainger Middle School and Vineland Elementary at 225 Cougar Way.

Those against the tower say they gathered more than 240 signatures from others who don’t want a cell tower near the schools.

While some are worries about the potential health risks of RF exposure.

“If there’s any question at all , what are we doing, what is our school board doing exposing our children to this,” said Heather Stout whose kids attend school near the proposed towers.

Others got emotional when talking about the negative impact they believe the tower will have on property values.

“We just sold our house last night in Ohio so we could pay for our house here, so I can get up every morning and look at at 130-foot cell phone tower in front of my house?” said another neighbor.

Despite concerns, the board unanimously voted to approve Verizon’s special request to build the tower, saying Verizon met all the board’s criteria.

“Even though we did hear some discussion about general health by federal law, we can’t weigh that,” said a board member.

Similar cell towers are already up at Lemon Bay High and Port Charlotte Middle School.

But parents feel that they weren’t given enough notice and that the district and the County were trying to sneak this latest tower through.

Verizon says the tower will improve cell service, WiFi and will bring in more money for Charlotte County schools, up to $180,000 a year if other service providers join in.

Concerned neighbors told WINK News they hired a lawyer and will continue to fight the construction of the tower.