cell tower

November 2, 2015 

Three locations are being considered for new cell towers in Amenia.  The first monopole proposed is located at 67 Kent Road in South Amenia, by SBA Communications, and would provide reception for Verizon.  The company provided a visual “balloon test” for the approx. 167’ pole earlier this year, and is still apparently a work in progress despite opposition by neighboring residents, and their need for a variance from the Amenia Zoning Board of Appeals.  It was rejected by the MTA and the ZBA as it would need to be extraordinarily tall to get a signal over the high ridge to the west (RM) and fill the service gap in the hamlet of Wassaic."

 A second monopole is being proposed at the Wassaic Train Station (owned by MetroNorth) near the back of their parking lot and the old race track which was used for trotters in the ‘forties.  MTA needs to enhance MTA police communications and response to emergencies such as hurricane Sandy, which has been deemed inadequate by Homeland Security.  The proposed monopole will be appx. 170’ high and is slated to be constructed before year-end. 

September 8, 2015- A letter was sent to the Town of Amenia from Metro-North on June 12, 2014, from Metronorth introducing the construction of a 220-foot cell tower.  “This project will take place on Metro-North property and is needed to ensure public safety and security…..The current MTA Police radio system suffers from several issues including a congested network due to inadequate radio frequencies, gaps in radio coverage throughout Metro-North’s service area and antiquated radio technology.”

The letter describes how the MTA police have partnered with the New York State police “to improve critical public safety communications through state-allocated radio channels” which will “provide uninterrupted communications throughout all Metro-North stations, on all five train lines.”  According to the letter there are dead areas where radio reception is not possible and if trains were stranded in between stations in those areas they could not be reached by radio.

The construction of a 17-story monopole cell tower on Kent Road in South Amenia is in process.   A test that will evaluate the potential visibility, called a “balloon test,” will take place on April 24 at 9 a.m (raindate April 27).  SBA Tower LLC has posted legal notice regarding the test.  A copy of the application is available at the Amenia town clerk’s office.  The Zoning Board of Appeals is reviewing the application.

 

On September 2 The Town of Washington Planning Board voted unanimously to deny the application for the Homeland Towers. For a year the board has heard residents, lawyers, engineers and specialists in the prolonged debate on a cell tower proposed for Fraleigh Hill. Planning Board Chairman Joshua Mackey asked each board member to give a response to their decision. Some said the character of the neighborhood would be altered by the presence of the tower which would have a negative impact on this scenic area. The tower wouldn’t solve the problem of coverage gaps in the area.. The Town Comprehensive Plan section regarding cell towers was also used to defend the denial.

At the previous meeting Homeland Towers mentioned small cell technology to the board as a cell invasive alternative to the tower. However the board felt that the applicant didn’t provide enough information about small cells and other new technology that could be used in the future. 

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