Proposed cell tower angers some Sauk Prairie residents

Proposed cell tower angers some Sauk Prairie residents

Next week, the village of Sauk Prairie will decide if a permit will be issued to Verizon to build a new cell tower near Sauk Prairie High School.

The tower, already approved by the Sauk Prairie School Board, is ruffling some feathers in “Eagle Country.”

Pam Walker lives just a short walk from Sauk Prairie High School and Sauk Prairie Middle School.

She said she’s worried about the long-term health effects the tower could have on students.

“They need to be more considerate of what citizens feel,” said Walker. “They just can’t come barging in and do what they want.”

“Some of them (students) are there 12-14 hours a day sometimes, and they’re getting a tremendous amount of exposure.”

The Sauk Prairie School Board approved the tower in March.

As proposed, the tower would replace a stadium light on the football field.

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The light stands at 80 feet, while the tower would be 150 feet.

The tower would also bring in $15,000 a year for the district.

Sauk Prairie Schools Superintendent Cliff Thompson said the board approved the project and therefore “the next step is to allow for the local government to make a decision on the future status of the project.”

He also said that “the Sauk Prairie School District will continue to lean and act with sensitivity, knowledge, and respect towards the comments and opinions regarding the Verizon cell tower project.”

But some neighbors feel the village’s hands are tied after a new state law prohibits any local government from writing an ordinance that prohibits the placement of a mobile structure.

Walker isn’t against the tower but would like to see it go somewhere else.

“Once that tower is up it’s too late,” she said. “They’ve got a 25-year contract, and it’s pretty assuredly it’s going to be there for good.”

The superintendent said that the school district held meetings for the public in the fall before the board approved the tower in March.

The Prairie du Sac plan commission will next be meeting Monday, August 5, at 6:30 p.m.

The commission could grant Verizon the permit to build, or it could tell the school board to look over the plan again due to residents’ concerns.

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