Warren County (NY) officials are asking the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to allow for taller towers, 10-to-20 feet above the tree height, to co-locate multiple carriers, reported The Post Star. On Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors Economic Growth & Development & Higher Education Committee voted to request a revision of the APA to “consider allowing cellular antennas to be placed on water towers, hotels, ski lifts, and government buildings.” The board is also requesting the APA edit language from requiring towers to be “substantially invisible” to “not readily discernible.”
One supervisor was not in favor of the resolution, saying the board should stay away from this “controversial issue,” reported the Star. The committee also heard comments from two environmental groups opposed to the resolution before making its final decision.
William Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council, commented on the progress already made regarding expanded cell service in the Adirondacks. He is concerned that taller towers would harm the environment and economy.
Conversely, Fred Monroe, communications director for the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, said higher towers mean more customers and more revenue. He noted the APA would prefer towers to be “at or below the tree level,” limiting the effectiveness of service, especially for safety reasons. “We shouldn’t be treated like a Third World country because we’re in the Adirondacks,” he said. “I think the majority of residents and visitors wouldn’t be offended by somewhat higher towers.”
Supervisor Matt Simpson added that some areas lack broadband coverage. “I have teachers that come to my town hall to use my WiFi because their current infrastructure is inadequate,” he said. Simpson added that he is also hearing from dispatchers who experience dropped calls, so it’s a safety issue.
The Star reported the policy changes would move the conversation forward. The full board will review the resolution during its June 19 meeting.
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