Waterbury Residents Fight Cell Tower Proposal | NBC Connecticut

Waterbury Residents Fight Cell Tower Proposal



    (Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014)

    Those living in the Town Plot neighborhood of Waterbury are standing their ground and demanding that the city tell Verizon Wireless to take a hike.

    Opponents gathered outside the Masonic Lodge on Highland Avenue Tuesday to protest the company's proposal to place a cell site inside.

    "All the neighbors are 100 percent against it," said resident Arthur Denze, Sr.

    Chris Martinelli, a member of the Masonic Lodge, says Verizon offered them $26,000 per year for a 20-year contract to rent the space.

    Protestors call it greed, but Martinelli says the money will go toward projects like the Children's Dyslexia Center of Connecticut, which teaches dyslexic children how to read, free of charge.

    "And the monies can go back to more civic organizations into the community too," said Martinelli.

    While the equipment would be hidden, residents argue the presence of Verizon will still hurt their property value.

    "You think people are going to want to buy a house that's next to a cell antenna? I don't think so," said Denze.

    Neighbor Lisa Hosko worries about the safety of her two young children.

    "I'd rather not have it here," said Hosko. "I'm just nervous with the radiation."

    Verizon Wireless released a statement that said in part, "The facility will comply with the FCC standards and it conforms in all respects with zoning regulations. Ultimately this site would provide for a stronger network to support connected devices and services that customers rely on in Waterbury."

    Still, residents say they're not backing down.

    "This could happen anywhere in the city if we don't stop it here," said Denze.

    Residents and members of the Masonic Lodge are expected to be at City Hall for the Zoning Commission's public hearing regarding the proposal. It begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday.