No cell tower at Carol Stream library

A 90-foot cell phone tower won’t be going up on Carol Stream Public Library property following resident concerns about health effects and aesthetics.

The library’s board of trustees voted 4-0 Wednesday to reject an offer from T-Mobile that wanted to install a tower on property the library owns at 480 Kuhn Road.

The deal was initially considered because of an estimate that the library could bring in around $1,500 a month for leasing part of its property for the cell tower.

The library board already rejected an earlier offer from T-Mobile to place the tower on property near the branch at 616 Hiawatha Drive.

The decision came after 45-minute closed executive session in which the cell tower proposal was one of the topics discussed.

Board President Robert Douglas said trustees had decided to reject the plan because of input from residents, and because officials from Cellusite, the company representing T-Mobile, “were not dealing with the board in an upfront manner.”

“We would ask questions and the answer would be, ‘That’s the way it needs to be.’ Many issues were deal breakers,” Douglas said.

During a public comment period earlier, trustees heard from about 15 nearby residents who objected to the tower. Many brought up studies linking cancer to radiation from cell towers, though Trustee Michael Wade said studies he’s seen haven’t confirmed such a link.

Resident Cynthia Ziegler said the $1,500 a month in revenue from the tower would have been small compared to what the library collects overall in annual property tax revenue.

“If you’re looking for the tacky town award, this is it,” Ziegler said.

Suzanne Carlstedt said if the tower were installed, most adjacent houses would be unsellable.

“Stop trying to balance your need for revenue on the backs of these homeowners,” she told trustees.

Trustee Tom Arends said he wants to be open to all reasonable revenue options, but agreed with residents that the tower could devalue their properties. He added that it could also hurt the rest of the library’s property on Kuhn.

The land was purchased with intentions to build a new library there, but voters have rejected that in three referendums.

Trustee Barbara Siegman, who abstained from a vote on the cell tower because she works for a T-Mobile competitor, said it’s likely the company will continue to pursue installing a tower in the area. She said cell phone companies are installing more and more towers because there are more and more users, and the towers improve phone service.

“If we turn it down, they will pursue in that vicinity,” Siegman said.

Douglas noted that a tower was going to be installed at Benjamin Middle School, 1041 Evergreen Drive, but T-Mobile officials backed out of the deal.

“Keep an eye out because they are consistent,” Douglas told residents.