Company drops plan for cell tower at Sowams School

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People opposed to the construction of a 141-foot cell tower on the property behind Sowams School in Barrington received some welcome news on Monday night: The company planning the project had withdrawn its proposal.

School and town officials shared e-mails with parents and other residents alerting them to the change.

A letter dated April 14 from Edward Pare of Brown Rudnick, a company representing New Cingular Wireless and AT&T, stated:

“At this time, our client is hereby withdrawing its request and suspending its efforts to construct a wireless telecommunications facility at the Sowams School property while it explores other options for filling its significant gaps in network coverage in this area of Barrington.

“AT&T continually strives to build-out its network infrastructure in a way that is, to the maximum extent possible, sensitive to the concerns of the residents of the communities which AT&T serves.

“To this end, we look forward to continuing to work with the Town of Barrington to identify other properties for the installation of an antenna facility that will allow AT&T to bring improved service to the residents of the Town of Barrington.”

For more than a month, a group of people in town have voiced concerns about the proposed cell tower — some have even drafted an online petition and built a Facebook page opposing the project.

At the most recent school committee meeting, more than 50 residents turned out to speak against the project. Some pointed to health concerns while others challenged the impact the tower and its access road would have on the Sowams School community.

More than two dozen residents attended the town council meeting on April 7 to continue their opposition to the project.

The school committee had been scheduled to make an official recommendation regarding the cell tower at its April 17 meeting.

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