Anyone who has regularly traveled Idaho Highway 55, the Gem State's main north-south traffic spine, knows that cellphone reception near the Valley County hamlet of New Meadows is scant, at best. And in spite of AT&T's desire to install a new 75-foot cell tower in the community, citizens aren't anxious for better reception.
This morning's McCall Star-News reports an AT&T representative said that arguments against the tower "had become emotional" after more than 160 people—representing more than a third of the town's voting public—signed a petition to block the tower's construction.
The Star-News reports that opponents cited visual distraction and potential health risks in asking the New Meadows City Council to deny AT&T's request. Citizens argued that they would pull their children from the Meadows Valley School, near where AT&T wanted to construct its tower, and put their children in McCall schools if the permit was granted. AT&T said it had installed multiple towers throughout Idaho and across the country near schools, churches and hospitals.
Ultimately, the council voted unanimously to reject the permit.