Expect a new tower on the Reidsville skyline.
On Wednesday, April 9, the Reidsville City Council unanimously approved the installation of a 120-foot cellphone tower off Freeway Drive.
American Tower plans to install it near the back of an eight-acre lot placing its location actually off of Pecan Road, despite the Freeway Drive address.
“We feel the tower is needed,” George Condyles said. “This is an asset to the wireless networks that are in the full city of Reidsville.”
Condyles is president of Atlantic Technology Consultants, a company serving Rockingham County in matters regarding wireless technology. It also helped the county’s fire and rescue personnel with the radio system the entities use.
Six separate companies have the ability to use the new tower.
AT&T already co-signed on the application. Condyles expects other major companies to begin signing on as well.
Condyles said he reviewed the application months ago and believes it helps people using items like iPhones, iPads and other wireless devices.
American Tower’s attorney Tom Johnson agreed.
“You may wonder why we need more towers when the technology has been around for a long time,” Johnson said. “The answer is consumer habits.”
Johnson further explained people continually drop their landlines and use cell phones only.
This creates a need for constant signal for emergency communications.
Johnson said last year, 70 percent of 911 calls came from cellphones.
People also increased their use of texting, using apps and surfing the Internet.
He said the tower also helps people using laptops with wireless cards.
Despite being located near residential properties it won’t come any closer than 500-feet to any home.
City officials stipulated to the company the tower can’t impact the value of adjoining properties.
Johnson said because of the placement of the tower it wouldn’t even be noticeable in many parts of the city.
“Its known in the industry as a low-profile tower,” Condyles said.
Mayor Jay Donecker worried about the tower’s interference to an airport located at U.S. 158. Johnson said there’s no impact to it.
Councilman Donald Gorham worried about residents’ health.
Condyles said though the Telecommunications Act of 1996 doesn’t allow a judicial body to consider this, he wrote about that in his report.
He said American Tower does have to abide by certain rules to prevent any health issues.
He also said the tower uses non-ionizing radiation, which doesn’t seem to have any health-related consequences.
The tower includes an eight-foot fence, a generator and a building for the tower’s equipment.