• Franklin residents fighting town official's plan for cell tower

    By: Jason Law

    Updated:

    FRANKLIN, Mass. - Franklin homeowners are furious over plans to build a 100-foot cell tower in their neighborhood. The man who stands to profit from the tower is an elected Franklin official.

    Artemios Kayas is preparing himself for what's coming: a 116-foot cellphone tower right in front of his house. 

    "I think it's going to drive me nuts," said Kayas. 

    Kayas and his neighbors are not happy about the new addition coming to their neighborhood. The company Vertex Tower plans to build the structure on private land to help improve cell service.

    "Right in our backyard? Literally right in our backyard," said Lucille Vandervelde. 

    Vandervelde lives on Raymond Street. The tower would be adjacent to her backyard. 

    "To have to look at it, to have to know that it could decrease our property value and the health concerns," she said. 

    The tower is going to go up in the back of the lot at 13 and 15 Edwards Street. This property is owned by Joe Halligan who sits on Franklin’s Planning Board. Halligan didn't want to give Boston 25 News an interview, but told us over the phone there is no conflict of interest between his agreement with Vertex and his official role with the town. Vertex will pay Halligan a rental fee to build the tower on his property. 

    Last month, residents took their complaints to Franklin's Zoning Board of Appeals. 

    “I’m concerned about my property value dropping so what’s going to be the advantage to us?”" one resident asked. 

    Despite their concerns, the board approved Vertex's plan to build the tower. 

    Kayas feels there are plenty of better places to build in Franklin, far away from his street. 

    "I know everybody wants coverage, but we have ample areas around the area here where I think they can put a cell phone tower, not in a residential area," Kayas said. 

    The town says the next step is for Vertex to apply for a construction permit. It the permit is approved, then homeowners can appeal that decision. 

    Next Up: