Proponents and opponents of proposed transmission towers for cellular phone service presented their arguments to the Carroll County chapter of the Maryland Municipal League last night in Union Bridge.
"Cellular is not a dangerous technology," said Mark Faris, vice president of operations with CellularOne.
He said the cellular phone towers operate at a power of 100 watts, while an FM radio station can transmit at up to 50,000 watts.
He also said cellular phone towers can be used by local municipalities as roosts for antennas needed for emergency services.
Mr. Faris said his firm believes it will need nine to 12 additional towers to provide service to the county in coming years.
Richard Dolson, general manager of network engineering for Bell Atlantic, said his company anticipates a need for six to eight new towers.
But Brian Jay McNamara, a resident of Richardson Road who opposes a 250-foot cellular phone service tower planned for his neighborhood, said the towers can decrease neighboring property values by 20 percent to 30 percent.
Mr. McNamara also said the towers clash with the landscape.
He said towers are a safety concern, not so much because of phone equipment but because of other devices that might be mounted on them.
Also last night, Paul T. Hoyle, vice president for sales and marketing with Bedminster Bioconversion Corp. of Cherry Hill, N.J., gave a slide show on a process used by his firm to turn municipal trash and sewage sludge into marketable compost.
His firm runs a Tennessee plant that was visited by Westminster Mayor Benjamin Brown in July.
Mr. Hoyle said the process produces relatively little odor.
Dead animals can be composted in the process' "digesters" as well as trash, he said.