Despite opposition from several concerned citizens who lived in the surrounding areas, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors in its June 24 regular meeting on Monday night, approved to allow Verizon Wireless to establish two cell service towers at the Saunders Site and Lake Haven Site in Bedford County. Both are owned by the Saunders Volunteer Fire Company. This was brought before the planning commission in May.

At the Saunders site, Verizon is requesting a special use permit to construct a 195 foot tall monopole tower with the purpose to expand and enhance Verizon cellular coverage and services in the area. The proposed tower will be located on a property in Election District 2.

At the Lake Haven site, Verizon is seeking to build an 80-foot tall monopole tower, also to expand coverage and services, this one will also be located in Election District 2.

Mainly the concerns that were raised during Monday night’s meeting involved property value and the visual aspect of coming outside and having to look at the tower in front of you. One couple stated that they had spent $15,000 to get their land cleared, and now felt that their property’s beauty would be affected by the project.

Another man stated that he had plans on doing some work on his house to make his house better suited for his family, which he hoped would increase its value. Now he is backing off on those plans because of one of the towers being near his property.

Board chairman Tommy Scott explained however that the main concern he has heard during his time on the board is that Bedford’s citizens generally want to have better wireless services. Many people are still asking him about the Broadband project and when better wireless services will be available to the public.

-For more information, see the June 26 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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