A cellphone tower near a Florida church has been discreetly disguised as a cross.
Stealth cellphone towers are becoming more common in the U.S. Although everyone would like to have better cellphone coverage, many people are not too thrilled about the prospect of living close to such large, metallic structures.
According to Groundspeak, contractors throughout the nation are being consulted on ways to turn these possible eyesores into objects such as cactuses, trees, abstract art, flagpoles, bell towers and crosses, such as the cross near the Neighborhood Alliance Church in Longwood, Florida.
"People don't want to see the ugly cellphone towers," Chad Tucker, a contractor with BTO Wireless, told WESH.
Tucker, who is working on the large stealth tower near the Florida church, said he’s worked on several similar towers. Tucker says critics have attacked the construction of stealth cellphone towers, arguing that residents should be told in advance what is actually being built.
"I believe it should be public knowledge, but a lot of people don't want to know," Tucker said.
Residents who live near the tower told WESH they were surveyed about the project several months ago. Many reportedly were happy with both the construction and the proposed design of the tower.
"I think it looks good,” said neighbor Kevin Seedarnee. “I think it will help a lot of people with the connection around here.”
Neighbor Randi Yasika said, "When I thought it was going to be a tree, I wasn't happy about it. But a cross, I think that's fine right there at the church, that's cool.”
According to the church’s pastor, he signed a 30- to 40-year county-approved contract for the tower, which could generate several thousand dollars of additional revenue each month for the church. He told WESH the income will be spent on charity and mission work.
In November, another Florida church, First Baptist Sweetwater in Seminole Country, wanted to install a cellphone tower on its property Controversy ensued as local residents wanted the tower to be integrated into the church’s design.
"People love their cellphones and they love great cell coverage, but they don't want to live near a cell tower," said local resident Laura Evelev.