Cell tower disguised as bell tower approved

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

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Say so long to spotty cell phone service in Chesterfield's Smoketree neighborhood. Tonight supervisors voted yes to a cell tower that looks like a bell tower.

Tonight everyone agreed a cell tower is needed, but some people didn't want it in their backyard. Nearly 20 people spoke out about the first-ever cell tower-slash-bell tower in Chesterfield County.

Roxanne Kelly was one of the few that didn't want to see it built.

"Bottom line, a tower has no place being next to homes, a playground, daycare and community pool," said Kelly.

But a vast majority of people, with awful cell service couldn't disagree more.

"If you're going to use a cell phone, you gotta have a cell tower," said Bill Baker.

Glen Martin, who has a heart condition, wants the 135-foot tower, designed to look like a bell tower-- without the bells.

"But I can tell you , not being able to pick a cell phone up and call in and order for pizza to feed these guys- much less to make a phone call to a 911 dispatcher if I have a problem-- it kind of makes me a little worried," he said.

The antennas would be hidden inside and it would sit near and resemble Epiphany Church. Despite opposers threatening to take action next election Andrea Epps said: build the tower.

"And come election time, Smoketree won't be able to communicate with anybody for anything if you don't have a tower," she said.

No sound will come from the bell tower. It won't have lights and six-foot evergreen trees will be planted around it. The cell tower company reports better service in less than a year.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.