The Connecticut Siting Council first considered a cell tower construction project in Kent almost a year ago. Delays and legal wrangling have kept the project from moving forward, reports Republican American. After finally being granted a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need clearance, Homeland Towers has been given the go-ahead for the 130-foot tower.
Kent Selectmen, backed by residents who opposed the cell tower, have considered filing an appeal against the approval. However, they have also expressed a reluctance to proceed, noting that opposition has already cost them $48,000 in legal fees. Town Treasurer Barbara Herbst confirmed that the line item has been overspent, requiring a budget transfer of funds.
“I don’t want to go any further without knowing how much this is going to cost us,” Selectman Edward Matson told the Republican American.
The new cell tower would support emergency services personnel operating along route 341. The tower would be located on private property on a 6.82 acre parcel. Four homes are within 1,000 feet of the site, with the closest being just under 500 feet away. Homeland Towers has projected construction costs at $421,000 and must complete the structure within 18 months or the entire agreement is void.
“We don’t feel like they made a balanced decision and the environmental harm outweighs the public benefit of this tower,” said Resident Todd Powell.
First Selectman Jean Speck referred to the Siting Council’s decision as a “big frustration.” Selectman Christopher Garrity recommended that the town brace itself for further tower requests and get its ducks in a row before they receive another application. Selectman Speck replied that Homeland Towers already submitted an application to the Siting Council for a new tower in Sherman, Connecticut.