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South county residents mobilize against cell phone tower

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – South county residents are collecting signatures on a petition in an effort to prevent a 100 foot cell phone tower from being erected in their neighborhood near Bauer Road.

The site for the proposed tower backs up to Michael Marino's property along Bauer Road. "I'm beyond angry. This is catastrophic not just for me because I'm the closest, but for everybody in the surrounding area," said Marino.

AT&T wants to build the tower on land owned by Crestwood Elks Lodge 2503 to service other communities. "The coverage they want to cover isn't even here. It's across the river in Fenton and Eureka," Marino added. Wendy Antalick has been conducting research online and has health concerns. "To me, it is a health concern because of the radiation that comes from the towers. There are going to be three tenants on the tower and obviously that increases the radio frequency radiation coming from the tower," said Antalick.

Jennifer and Andrew Rieser bought property across the street from the proposed site and planned to build their dream home on it. Now, they're not so sure. They hope the St. Louis County Planning and Zoning Commission does not rezone the area making it possible for the tower to be installed. "I would like the county to not allow the rezoning change so everything can go back to normal and we can have our dream house," said Rieser.

St. Louis County Councilman, Steve Stenger represents the area and made it clear he supports his constituents.

No one from the Elks Lodge was available for comment. The St. Louis County Planning and Zoning Commission votes on the matter next month.

Meanwhile, AT&T released the following statement when asked about the proposed tower.

“AT&T is considering leasing space on a TowerCo. tower to strengthen our wireless network for customers who rely on it to stay connected to family, friends, work, school and emergency responders. When reviewing potential tower lease options for our wireless network upgrades, AT&T works hard to identify the best locations for our customers and follows strict federal, state and local safety standards.”

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    • C. Horton

      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states:

      “Exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation has climbed rapidly with the advent of cell phones and other wireless technologies. Studies of the link between exposure to RF and to electric and magnetic frequency (EMF) radiation have found RF and EMF to be ‘potential carcinogens,’ but the data linking RF and EMF to cancer is not conclusive. World wide, health physicists (scientists who study the biological effects of radiation) continue to study the issue.”
      (Source cancer .org)

      Cigarette smoking causing cancer was also considered “a myth” by many for decades. I listened to the wonderful, interesting and charming Sir Richard Doll of Oxford UK discus how he thought cancer was caused by numerous other environmental agents before his epidemiology studies showed cigarettes to be the culprit.The absence of proof via studies does not a “myth” make, Mr. Marculis!

      So, cell towers may not give off “ionizing radiation” like X-Rays etc but they most certainly do give off radio frequency radiation and it has not been proven this is safe. Many first world countries (New Zealand, many European countries etc) would never permit should a tower to be placed this close to a family home. Also the FCC may set “safety standards” however they do not have the resources to monitor actual radiation given off by cell towers. The safety information mentioned by TowerCo lawyers was for a single array. They could not produce safety data for triple arrays as proposed here.

      The issue here is The Elks have been very bad neighbors to this community and their avarice has put this wonderful community at risk. The Marino family’s house is just 107 FEET from the base of this tower. Their yard where their girls play is inches from this proposed tower.

      The craziest part of this whole story is that this tower is not needed in this community for cell phone coverage or capacity. AT&T/TowerCo’s legal team under questioning from the planning committee admitted they were told (by AT&T engineers who were not even present to be questioned) it was “needed” for future needs of households approx. 2 miles away across the Meramec River in JEFFERSON COUNTY. It is ridiculous to impose this tower equivalent to a ten story building in this area of single and two story homes for the benefit of people living in another county.

      If it is “needed” in Jefferson County, put it there. There are plenty of appropriate commercial sites or non-residential sites within that community.

      AT&T just disposed of 9,700 cell towers to Crown Castle for $4.85 billion. How much money will AT&T & TowerCo make off this deal? How much money will the Elks make off this deal? Strikes me the losers are the local families like the Marino’s and the local community. If house values plummet and new home plans are shelved, how much money will the Mehlville School District lose as a result?

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