Parents upset about possible cell tower on Matthews school campus

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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MATTHEWS, N.C. —

Neighbors in one Matthews community are outraged after finding plans to possibly build a large cellphone tower at a local elementary school.

They are not worried about how it will look; they are concerned about the health of the students.

The cell tower would look like others dressed as a pine tree.

Parents say it still doesn’t belong at Elizabeth Lane Elementary School.

“I have three children at this school,” said mother Kristen Stratt.

Stratt is one of the parents who saw the notice at the school about the Matthews Town Council hearing Monday night.

“It’s, in my opinion, a lot of risk to putting up a tower with radiation coming out,” said Stratt.

The Berkley Group had petitioned for the city of Matthews to change the zoning conditions so it could put a cell tower on campus.

A company representative told Channel 9 it asked the council to accept a withdrawal of its petition.

A withdrawal means it could still resubmit the petition in the future.

Tina Emerson, who lives near the school, said she wants City Council to keep the issue on the agenda and vote it down.

“Everyone wants better cell service, but it shouldn’t be at the school,” Emerson said.

She has studied the proposal.

“The playground would be right by the cell tower. I couldn’t believe that they would want to put a 120-foot tower so close to where children play,” Emerson said.

She said she has heard the firm's claims that the tower is safe, but she said those towers haven't been studied long enough to know for sure.

“We are subjecting the littlest of (our) community to it, 5-year-old children," Emerson said.

She plans to bring a crowd and convince the council to act.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Matthews Town Hall, off Matthews Station Street.

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