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Buffalo considering moratorium on cell phone towers

© Justin Smith / Wikimedia

Buffalo's Common Council is looking at a moratorium on cell phone towers in large parts of the city.

What appears to have triggered public interest and some opposition is the latest technology: 5G towers and large cans put on utility poles. They look like the electric transformers that have been around for years but are much larger. There will be a lot of them eventually, because the 5G cells cover a fairly small area compared to the tall towers.

Councilmember Joel Feroleto said it is time to talk about concerns.

"The council previously voted to allow them, so I think it's important to have discussions at our next committee meeting," he said. "I know Councilman [Ulysses] Wingo brought up some concerns he has and it's very important to talk about potential concerns that he has and make sure that everything gets addressed."

In the past, council members decided not to get involved in the tower issue. Concerns seem to be rising because of the sheer number of the cell base stations that will go on the poles.

Wingo said the public needs more information.

"We need some layer of protection for our community members and residents and constituents to have, to make sure that folks are not just putting these cell phone towers up without notifying the community," Wingo said. "So with this moratorium, there's just some extra layer we're adding to this process to ensure that the folks in those communities are aware they are going up."

Wingo said one went up at Bailey and Connelly avenues recently, between people going to work in the morning and coming home.

Council members also passed legislation pushed by retiring Council member Richard Fontana to establish a framework for new internet companies to come into the city to establish a competitor to Spectrum.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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