News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By John Tucker

Alfred Town Talk


Microwave Antenna Moratorium, Sidewalk, ARP Spending

By Supervisor Daniel Acton

Proliferation of cell phones and other microwave gadgets has led to challenges of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA) that establishes exposure standards for these devices. Those challenges are based on assertions that the act fails to protect the public from electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that may be harmful. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the Federal Communications Commission must revisit the TCA exposure regulationsand in so doing consider voluminous scientific and medical testimony submitted by the Environmental Health Trust and other organizations.

With the backdrop of outdated regulatory standards that may subject the public to harmful EMR, and after extensive review of available data, the Town Planning Board presented a recommendation for a one-year moratorium on the issuance of building and special use permits for microwave antennas, smart meters, and similar devices. This would also apply to 5G antennas. During this one-year period it is expected (hoped) that the FCC will promulgate new and more appropriate standards. After a lengthy discussion the board asked for more information on topics of power and safe distances and for language of a proposed moratorium. It was decided that community input would be important before making any decision.

Other topics at the monthly meeting involved several community members who were present to inquire about the status of the proposed sidewalk. The board indicated that no decision has been made and that we are waiting for the DOT’s final review of the project.

Regarding American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds a proposal was made to spend part of our funds to pave the parking lot. Community members who come to the town building know that it is a muddy mess in the spring and dusty when it is dry. Highway Superintendent Bob Halsey said that he will get prices for this project. To date we have spent a small amount of ARP funds to install AV equipment and carpeting in the board room to improve communications for those who zoom to our monthly meetings.

In addition to our normal business the board voted to trade in our old Kubota tractor for a new Massey Ferguson. Finally, we appointed Bill Ells as temporary CEO until Steve Kilmer returns.

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