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Public meeting chance for insight on AT&T

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn residents can learn more about AT&T’s hopes for the city at a public meeting this week. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Rose Room at City Hall. Lane Kasselman, spokesman for AT&T, said the discussion would begin with the potential 78-foot monopine cell phone tower to go in at 169 Borland Avenue and branch into AT&T’s goals for their service in the city. “The goal of the meeting is to address concerns and educate customers and residents about why we are building infrastructure and what it’s going to do for them,” Kasselman said. “We basically want to make sure people understand this isn’t about cell phones. This is about the future of wireless broadband.” Kasselman said he thinks there is a lot of misinformation about wireless communication and data, and the company hopes to talk to residents about how it works and what it will look like in Auburn. Kasselman said several AT&T representatives as well as third-party experts plan to attend the meeting. Borland Avenue resident O.C. Taylor would have the closest residence to the monopine and appealed the project after the Auburn Planning Commission approved the cell tower’s height variance. Taylor said he thinks he will attend the meeting, but he also thinks that AT&T has a better chance of supporting their ideas about the tower than he does. “I probably will (attend),” Taylor said. “Personally, right now, I don’t have any questions (for AT&T). I look at AT&T like BP or any of those entities that are large and have thousands of attorneys.” Taylor said he doesn’t have the same kind of representation to support his thoughts. “(There are officials) who agree (with me), but they don’t want to say anything,” Taylor said. Taylor said he would most likely speak at the meeting. One of Taylor’s concerns has been the effect radio frequencies will have on people at ground level. Kasselman said meeting representatives would be able to address that issue. “We will have engineers on hand that can talk about … radio frequency concerns and explain how equipment is hundreds of times below the (Federal Communications Commission) limit,” he said. The cell tower is expected to go back before the Auburn City Council for potential approval at a future meeting. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------- AT&T public meeting When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday Where: Rose Room, City Hall, 1225 Lincoln Way, Auburn