Plans to erect a new cell tower on land owned by the family of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has drawn the ire of some local residents, reports NHPR.org. Vertex, the developer of the potential site, has identified a need for better coverage and has proposed the construction of a 170-foot lattice type tower on the slope of Mount Cone. The private land borders the White Mountain National Forest, and many residents of nearby Thornton have expressed their displeasure with the proposition.
Vertex acknowledges the presence of the popular Welch-Dickey hiking trail near the potential tower site, and says that a coverage gap along Route 49 makes this a good location. A tower in this region could also support the network of emergency support communications currently hosted by a five tower system. Vertex approached Michael and James Sununu, brothers of the governor and trustees of the company which owns the land, about the site suggestion. The brothers have stated that their involvement is minimal, and not intended to provide service for the neighboring Waterville ski resort, which the family also owns.
“Many people choose to live here because we’re right next to the National Forest: It’s very peaceful, it’s quiet, it’s full of nature,” said Jeremy Duffield, local resident and tower opponent. “We don’t want a huge tower every time we look out of our back window or otherwise we might as well just move back to the towns.” He added that he does not believe Vertex has demonstrated a compelling need for another tower, or has considered other options.
Final zoning approval and variance waivers are still being discussed. Speaking on behalf of a residents group, Duffield has said that local citizens would be willing to buy the land to stop the construction of a cell tower. James Sununu has responded that he would be willing to consider any suggestions that are offered in an effort to keep peace with the local population.
“There’s a groundswell of opposition to this in the town,” stated Duffield. “There’s concern that the way this is being done is predatory.”
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