Nearly three years after approving its initial lease agreement with Verizon Wireless, the Hempfield school board may prevent the tech company from building a controversial cell tower on school district property.
But it could come at a cost.
The school board will vote tonight on whether to grant an easement and approve a second amended lease agreement between the district and Verizon.
Voting yes would pave the way for Verizon to request the necessary permits from East Hempfield Township to build the tower, expected to stand 100 feet tall behind Rohrerstown Elementary School. Voting no could halt Verizon’s progress — and spur a lawsuit.
The easement, Hempfield Superintendent Chris Adams said in an email last week, “is a condition for this project to move forward.” If the board rejects the easement, he added, “Verizon would likely take any actions it had available to them (by) law either to enforce the agreement or seek other remedies it believes it has available to them.”
A no vote would undoubtedly please many Hempfield residents who say their kids shouldn’t be objected to the potentially harmful radiation from the cell tower.
Dozens of residents have consistently voiced their concerns to the school board since the summer, when opposition against the tower started to gain momentum.
The district has since asked Verizon to delay any decision-making regarding the tower as it attempts to put the community to ease. The board even brought in three experts last week to discuss the potential harmful effects of cell towers.
Tonight's school board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Hempfield’s administration building, 200 Church St., in Landisville.