Greater Latrobe won't appeal decision against cellphone tower
Greater Latrobe school board plans to discourage adding cellphone antennas to the roof of the senior high school. Verizon Wireless' plan had sparked health and safety concerns from the public.
“The district's intention is not to create or perpetuate any health or safety fears, even though the district believes this fear is not warranted,” said Superintendent Judith Swigart during a prepared statement at the school board's meeting Tuesday night.
The 35-foot boxlike structure was approved by the district in November through a five-year lease with Verizon Wireless.
Verizon was responsible under the terms of the lease to receive proper permitting, which included the approval of the Unity zoning hearing board for a special exception because the school is in a residential zone.
The township zoning hearing board denied the request in February in a 3-2 decision, citing concerns about weight on the roof and exhaust from a generator.
Zoning hearing board members Greg Fumea, Tim Thomas and Virginia Murphy, who voted against the decision, were present at the school board meeting on Tuesday.
Swigart, as a part of the statement, said the cellphone company approached the school district more than a year ago because of its location and saw the opportunity to not only provide a service to residents of the districts but to allow Greater Latrobe to have a small alternative source of revenue, necessary after decreases in state funding.
“Greater Latrobe school board does not believe that the antennas pose any health or safety risks; however, the district has decided to ask Verizon not to appeal the zoning board's decision, even though it means a loss of the annual recurring revenue,” she read.
Fumea and Thomas addressed the board after Swigart read the statement.
“I don't think the risk was worth the reward,” Fumea said. “That money was such a minute part of our budget,” Fumea said.
Thomas said the safety and education of the students should be more of a focus than any revenue.
“You're not here to make money, you're here to educate children,” Thomas said.
After the meeting, Solicitor Ned Nakles said the lease is still in place, but without proper permitting, the construction could not move forward.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
- Woman admits to theft of 2 weapons in Latrobe shooting case
- Woman to stand trial in Jeannette tot’s death
- Psychologist’s compassion buoyed students, friends
- Police: Woman tried to start fire at neighbor’s house in Derry Township
- Bank seeks to foreclose on Eastern Derry Twp. VFD
- New Stanton council hikes garbage fees to $13.65 per month
- 20 charged in Western Pennsylvania drug crackdown
- Westmoreland County sheriff won’t alter staffing as cash runs out
- Man taken to hospital from scene of Hempfield house fire
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts