Residents Up In Arms Over Unexpected Cell Phone Tower In Monmouth County

LITTLE SILVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A cell phone tower is getting poor reception in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Homeowners say they had no warning, and they worry it’s a health hazard.

Four-year-old Charlotte Holmgren has a bedroom view that nearly everyone in Little Silver is talking about — a cell tower is just 120 feet from her home.

“I’m scared to death that she’s going to wake up with cancer or reproductive issues,” her mom Alicia tells CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Alicia says the 95-foot structure was built within a week in May, smack in the middle of town with seemingly no warning to residents.

“There was no true notification,” she said. “It was no official letters that went out notifying us what was going on. It just appeared.”

CBS2 reached out to Little Silver Mayor Robert Neff to find out why residents weren’t directly notified about the tower construction. He has yet to respond to several requests for comment.

“I literally found out about it driving through town one day and saw it in the field and I was like ‘wait, excuse me, what is this’,” resident Jennifer Borenius said.

While experts recommend cell towers be at least 1,500 feet from schools, the cell tower sits less than 500 feet from Markham Elementary School, the town library, and the town recreational center. The biggest concern is the unknown health risks.

“That concerns me as a parent that my children will be some place I don’t have control of what they’re being exposed to,” Borenius said.

“I think they can do something about it,” Dr. Michael Goldfarb, of Little Silver, says. “It’s not a matter of blaming someone, it’s really a matter of finding a reasonable solution.”

Residents say it’s hard to be optimistic when what’s done is done, but they’re hoping the hundreds of people expected to show up at a public forum on Monday will be enough to convince the town to move the tower somewhere else.

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