At the most recent village board meeting, the Garden City Board of Trustees continued discussions on how to resolve residents’ complaints about the recently installed Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) by NextG Networks, which are located on public easements in backyards of nine Garden City residents.
At a village meeting earlier in the month, residents questioned the health risks that the DAS could pose to their families and neighbors over the long-term. In an effort to analyze what, if any, the hazards of these DAS may be, Trustees Dennis Donnelly and Nicholas Episcopia proposed a joint motion “to engage an environmental testing firm to conduct samples at all nine NextG locations within the village to document and verify all radio frequencies and/or radiation associated with these emissions and the results of these should be reported back to the village in an expeditious manner,” Donnelly said.
Trustee Brian Daughney agreed with the plan of action and said it would also be helpful if the firm also considered including comparative information. “There is other equipment in people’s yards. We want to know what else is there and give people a reference point,” Daughney said. Donnelly amended his motion to include other devices on poles located in the nine yards in question.
Once the results of the emissions tests are received, Trustee Quinn asked if they could be compared to federal standards of what are considered safe radio frequency emissions. Trustee Cavanaugh asked if there would be any value in also having them compared to the typical emissions one would find in a public environment, such as if someone were walking by a cellular tower.
Donnelly said that the village will ask the firm to take a look at numbers in the nine specific yards and also consider other emissions as well. “We are going to also ask them in the report to look at the whole RF spectrum. It’s been stated that the microwave in your house is the most dangerous. So, we’ll get that in the report and we can take a look at it and discuss it. At least we will have some data pertinent to the village and not to anywhere else.”
Village Administrator Bob Schoelle told Mayor Rothschild he is in the process of locating a firm to do the work.
In a vote of 6 to 0, trustees (Trustee Watras and Deputy Mayor Brudie were absent) approved the motion.