Community hopes to stop approved cell tower at school - CBS46 News

Community hopes to stop approved cell tower at DeKalb County school

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A community plans to fight a cell tower that's already been approved to go up at a special education school in DeKalb County. They said they weren't given any notice to voice their opposition. They met Monday night to talk strategy.

The meeting was simple, at a home in the Briarcliff Heights neighborhood. The topic was troubling for the group.

"We feel that they were kind of underhanded in their efforts to notify the public," said Joe Staley.

This summer, DeKalb County schools signed off on adding cell towers on the grounds of nine schools. One of them is at the Margaret Harris Comprehensive School. Kids at the school received a notice about community meetings before the school board approved the cell tower, but people living around the school say they were left out.

"I had no notice," said Eleanor Sosne.

It's because of this that the group of concerned residents met. They hope to prevent the tower from ever going up.

"The school board, by doing this vote and using a special administrative permit, completely ignored the rights of the tax payers in this neighborhood who help support that school, and in the process putting all of our health at risk," said Lauren Staley.

Residents are also concerned about property values decreasing. That leaves them with Tough Questions for the school board.

"Why would they do this? Are they so desperate? Isn't there another avenue for revenue?" asked Sosne.

The benefits for the district include $25,000 for PTA's plus payments to the school system over a number of years. A school district spokesperson said the board's part is complete.

"The superintendent has said that we need to focus on the things that we can change and not the decisions we've made previously," said Walter Wood.

The group isn't taking no for an answer.

"I don't think it's safe for kids. I don't think neighborhoods are getting a chance to be heard. I want this tower out of our neighborhood," said Staley.

The group started a Facebook page and are collecting signatures on a petition. They also plan to be at the school board meeting on Dec. 5 so board members can hear their opposition firsthand.

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