The Weld (ME) Appeals Board is scheduled to review a 190-foot AT&T tower project planned near Lost Cove before the end of the year, reported the Sun Journal. The Planning Board previously approved the project in a unanimous decision.
Although Maine residents are not opposed to the tower, some are petitioning for a location change. According to member John Stifler, the Weld Cell Tower Information Committee has hired a lawyer to help its efforts in finding an alternate location for the tower. The Committee has also collected over 700 petition signatures via Change.Org.
“We are NOT opposed to the cell tower. We are IN FAVOR of locating it in a less conspicuous viewshed than the one that directly abuts a portion of Mount Blue State Park at the Center Hill picnic area,” added Stifler. “If you’ve ever been to this spot, you will understand that it is truly iconic.”
Committee member Heidi Stowell Nichols added via email, “The Federal Government, State Government, and nearly a dozen local conservation groups have worked nearly a century to raise millions of dollars to preserve 30,000 acres of what is now called the Mount Blue~Tumbledown Preserved Lands. It would be respectful to the historic conservation efforts to uphold the integrity of the landscape and to not locate the…tower…directly in this viewshed.”
In addition to the location, the need for an AT&T tower was brought up at the meeting. The Journal reported that the results of an informal carrier survey were shared, indicating that 54.1 percent of respondents used Verizon, 21.6 percent T-Mobile, and just 2.7 percent subscribed to AT&T service. Over 10 percent of respondents did not have a cell phone.
According to AT&T representative Pete Marchand, there are still official documents needed before the project can move forward, including a building permit application. He noted that this permit is required before the Department of Transportation permit can be obtained and the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) requirements considered. A wetlands report was already submitted to NEPA, reported the Journal.
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