To the editor:
When will the well-being of regular citizens be considered more important than the “right” of corporations (read: “the rich”) to get richer?
My property value is being put on the line so that a multibillion-dollar corporation can increase its profit. This time it’s in our neighborhood, but next time it could be in yours, or in a lower-income neighborhood where people can’t afford to hire a lawyer. Verizon does not need to put a new cell tower in my neighborhood so that people in Pittsfield can get coverage.
Their own cell service map shows all of Pittsfield has coverage. They are seeking to lower their costs by not having to pay rent on someone else’s tower. Their greed is jeopardizing our financial well-being, to save them a pittance.
Why is this tower unfair to my family? Because Verizon’s tower may erase the profit we have been building on our property over the past 25 years.
Why didn’t they use the address of the street closest to the proposed tower site? Because that would have made it obvious that it was being located next to a residential neighborhood. Instead they said it would be in an industrial area on South Street, even though there was no way to reach the site until they built a very long driveway up to the top of our neighborhood.
How did we find out what Verizon was doing at the top of the ridge we live on? They broke our water main one day in March, at the beginning of the pandemic, when their construction vehicles drove the shortest route to the site (i.e., through our neighborhood), and someone asked what the construction vehicles were doing up there.
Citizens should be notified and be able to express their concerns before something that has a negative impact happens in their neighborhood. Maybe the businesses on South Street got the notification letters, but the residents in our neighborhood did not.
Let’s hope the court puts the well-being of people above the greed of corporations, and let us at least have a chance to voice our concerns.
Published in the Berkshire Eagle