Chesterfield neighborhood debates cell phone tower

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – To have cell phone service, you need cell phones towers but it's not that easy for the people in one Chesterfield community. Right now the county is considering a tower in the Smoketree neighborhood off Courthouse Road. Those desperate to make a call say "yes," but others disagree.

Some people in the Smoketree neighborhood can't use their cell phones inside their own homes. They're paying for a service they can't use. Another cell tower would improve reception, but some people want it to go somewhere else.

Roxanne Kelly's green folder can barely hold all the anti-cell tower emails.

"The main reason is really the location. I know a lot of people do want the communications tower. I feel there's a need also. But generally there was another location," said Kelly.

A few years ago, the woods nearby behind the Living Word Church were considered. The church, which owns the agricultural land, wants the tower. But the communication beam, which looks a bell tower, is slated to go in Smoketree.

The bell tower will match the color and the motif of the neighboring Epiphany Church. The tower won't sit on the church's property, but would house its chimes.

"We also are concerned about the noise. We bought our properties with peace and serenity," said Kelly.

Eddie Kennedy just wants her phone to do its job.

"We have gotten rotten reception," Kennedy said.

Since the dawn of cell phones, Eddie's had to climb to her attic to talk.

"If we got good reception, oh my gosh, I would have to get extra minutes," she said.

She wants neighbors to consider the bigger picture and support the county's first-ever bell-slash-cell tower.

"You can't keep saying "not in our neighborhood, not in your neighborhood" somebody has to say it's going to be in our neighborhood," Kennedy said.

Neighbors still have one more chance to speak out. A public hearing will be set next month. That public hearing will take place at the Chesterfield board of supervisors meeting. It's scheduled for November 17 at 6:30 p.m., at the County Government Complex on Iron Bridge Road.

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