Cumberland County prepares for new cell-phone tower trend

As cell phone usage goes up, new cell phone towers are shrinking down. Cumberland County says it’s preparing for the new trend of supplemental “mini” towers designed to improve service and blend into the community.

The borough of Wormleysburg is getting ready to install its first mini tower in the spring. Verizon is leasing borough-owned land to improve service by the restaurants on Front Street.

“For the public, we can help with the fact that this is the new trend – cell phones and WiFi and stuff,” Borough Manager Gary Berresford said. “And we also need to be involved so we can regulate it so it’s less intrusive.”

When Berresford says “intrusive,” he is referring to the large cell phone towers that have come under criticism amidst accusations of being eyesores in Cumberland County. Although the new mini towers will not replace the larger ones, Cumberland County’s Planning Department says keeping an eye on this trend will pay off.

“We all like our cell phones, we all like our smart phones and need more data and faster data,” Cumberland County Planning Director Kirk Stoner said. “So we’re really seeing that need evolve and we really need to figure out how to accommodate that – it’s not going away – but do so in a manner that doesn’t negatively impact our neighborhoods.”

The hope is that the smaller towers will allow people to have their cake and eat it, too: better cell service and an aesthetically-pleasing community.

“Our communities just need to be prepared,” Stoner said. “I don’t believe the sky is falling, that we’re going to see major impacts from the technology in our community, but our communities really need to be informed and be prepared.”

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