TALENT, Ore.- Over 120 people showed up to Wednesday night's town hall meeting where Pacific Power's smart meters were up for discussion. At the beginning of the meeting Talent Police Chief Curtis Whipple could be seen making his headcount, and promptly asking about a dozen people to leave to keep the building safely at capacity.
The new smart meters will allow Pacific Power to measure energy usage, along with tracking power outages faster. But many of the people at tonight's town hall say it's a risk to their health.
Bridget Krause lives in Talent and says she's still recovering from a radiation injury she received from cell phone exposure. Other town hall attendees expressed concerns about wireless radiation and its impact on health.
Krause says, "I can feel the stuff and feel the detrimental effects and not completely keel over so I can talk about it."
Some organizers could be seen collecting signatures from people looking to stop Pacific Power from putting in these new smart meters.
Pacific Power said at the meeting there's no evidence of the meters being dangerous. The company says it's installing smart meters at no cost to customers as part of its strategy to modernize the power grid.
Pacific Power is offering a fee for those looking to opt-out of these new meters. For Oregon customers who choose to opt-out, they will be charged a one-time $137 meter exchange fee plus a monthly meter reading fee of $36.
Oregon customers who request the removal of an existing smart meter will be charged meter exchange fees totaling $306, plus a $36 monthly meter reading fee.