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Neighborhood association against new cell tower installations

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FORT WAYNE, Ind (Fort Wayne's NBC) - People living in Forest Park Blvd. Neighborhood are fighting new cell towers that are set to be placed along the street. 

Forest Park Boulevard is known as a historic neighborhood of Fort Wayne, it’s located next to Lakeside Park. 

When Tom Obergfell learned a 39-foot cell tower is set to be installed in their neighborhood, he took action.  

"I’ve lived in this neighborhood my whole life,” He said. “It would be horrible, hundreds of people walk this street every day, even in the winter, and to see that thing sitting right here, would be a disaster.” 

Obergfell is the treasurer of the Forest Park Boulevard Neighborhood Association. He says they found out because of two notices in the Journal Gazette.  

"As soon as someone saw that we were all over it,” Obergfell said. “The president of our board sent something to our board members and we immediately said we got to do something.” 

He says it would ruin the view of the park and the beauty of the historic neighborhood.  

“Everyone on the boulevard is into maintaining the historic nature of Forest Park Blvd., that’s just part of living here,” he said. 

Obergfell says they’ve reached out to Verizon and state representatives about their concerns, but they haven’t responded. 

"I hope they understand, utility poles belong in utility areas, not on the public green way,” he said. “We can think of an alternate site, I just want to work with them instead of having a battle against them.’ 

The Fort Wayne City council has been fighting this same issue. Councilman Geoff Paddock wrote a letter urging state lawmakers to vote ‘no’ to a bill that would take away their control of where cell phone towers are placed.  

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at kvancleave@wpta21.com.

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