Northport residents have safety concerns about poor cell service at state park

Local News
July 04 2021 12:00 am

NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — With the summer underway, many families will be headed to Alabama state parks to enjoy the outdoors. But some campers at Lake Lurleen State Park in Northport have safety concerns because of poor cell service.

“It’s really a scary time when you are out here because anything could happen. This is a place where people come and congregate and have a good time and they don’t want to worry about something happening, and something bad to happen, because there is no cell service,” said Calvin Goodman.

Tuscaloosa County resident Julie Olson started a petition drive and has collected more than 300 signatures on, hoping state officials will build a cell tower at the park to improve cellular service.

“So this is something we’ve given years to happen, to be improved, and waiting for the state to do something and it’s not happened and so we wanted to start a grass roots movement to try to get better coverage out there so that people are a little more safer,” said Olson.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy tells CBS 42 he is aware of the poor cellular service at Lake Lurleen State Park and would like to see cellular providers make improvements in case of emergency situations.

“We do need better cell coverage out there in the park and that area of Tuscaloosa County. You’re going to have a number of people coming here and it is imperative we have coverage in those areas because it can be a life-or-death situation,” said Abernathy.

Julie Olson has been in contact with U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt’s office and Verizon Wireless, but she says nothing has changed.

“So I’ve been in contact since January with Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office trying to get some traction since the Congressman is leading the charge for broadband coverage, but also increasing cell coverage in the state of Alabama. I will continue to put pressure on our state leaders,” said Olson.

So far, over 300 people have signed the petition to improve cell service.

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