To the editor:

My family is on the list of abutters who did not receive a letter about a proposed cell tower. I was upset to see construction happening without having knowledge or say about the project. We pay our taxes, water bills and get mail from the city about schooling for our children. We got notified about the condo project, the hospice project and a neighbor building a house extension, but got nothing on a 115-foot cell tower.

877 South Street proposed multiple projects and we all turned up to meetings. We spoke out against proposed projects because of multiple reasons, including the 35′ height restriction. Those projects did not go through. I think the cell tower project was not publicly disclosed to stop us from going to the meeting and telling them what we think.

My family had to give up land to the city of Pittsfield to build the water tower, literally in the backyard of the house I grew up in. I do not want a cell tower now so close to where my family lives and sleeps. I’m worried the new paved road connecting 877 South to Alma Street will increase traffic. I don’t want to have that happen and compromise the quietness and safety of my neighborhood.

Public health physicians from the Institute for Health and the Environment and the University at Albany say that “the aggregate exposure over time coming from being close to a cell tower can be very significant, increasing the risk of brain and other cancers,” and “that cell towers are a class 2B possible carcinogen.” With so many available places to put a tower, it does not belong in our neighborhood. I should not have risk with my family’s health.

I want the opportunity to voice my concern at a zoning meeting. My neighbors and I never had that chance. It isn’t enough to say the letters, or “the check” is in the mail. It only counts if the people who are meant to get them actually receive them. The responsibility should be on the permitting department to send all letters and send them registered mail. That way people are properly notified and can have a voice in the process.

I encourage everyone to reach out to their ward councilor and ask for help revisiting this permit.

Mark Markham


Published in Berkshire Eagle,605071?