Should Altamont host cell tower?
ALTAMONT — The village board here tabled a decision last week to allow the marketing of a communications tower that could be built within village limits.
Trustee Kerry Dineen, who filled in for absent Mayor James Gaughan, said that she and the mayor met with ECS representative Bill Biscone, Trustee William Aylward, and Village Attorney Michael Moore in September to discuss a proposed land license agreement that would allow the installation of a communications tower in the village.
Dineen said that, if constructed, the tower could provide income from rent earned from communications companies. The tower could also improve local cell coverage, she said.
The land license agreement would require the use of an 80-foot-by-80-foot parcel of land.
Biscone, of ECS, said that the village would tax ECS, which would pay the school district and village taxes.
“This is an agreement for future activities,” Biscone said.
“The contract obligates the village to provide the property,” Moore said. Income would come in only after wireless facilities were installed on the tower and the rents from the facilities were paid to ECS, Moore said.
Biscone told The Enterprise that ECS has two towers in the area already. One tower is in Knox and the other is in New Scotland. Both were constructed in 2008.
Aylward slowed the adoption of the agreement by asking if residents had been notified that a tower might be installed.
Dineen said that the agreement would allow ECS to market the proposed tower to communications companies. After renters for the tower were found, ECS would seek village planning approval, at which time residents would be notified, she said.
“It’s obvious that it’s an intent,” Aylward said. “To me, it’s clear what the intent is.”
“Right,” said Kate Provencher, of the village zoning board.
“It provides revenue and gives a public service,” Dineen said.
“I want to know more. There’s no big rush,” Aylward said.
Moore said that Biscone and ECS may disagree with Aylward’s assessment of time.
Biscone said that expected rent would be about $7,000 per year per carrier. He said that there are four carriers in the region: T Mobile, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint.
“There’s a few areas of the municipalities that will be able to see it,” he said.
“I would like that we’re considering the proposal to be out there a little bit,” said Trustee Christine Marshall in support of a delay in the adoption of the agreement. “There’s going to be a visual aspect. I don’t know if that would bother people or not.”
Biscone said that he cannot market the site until the village and ECS have a land license agreement. Trustee Dean Whalen asked the board to give ECS a time frame for a decision, and Dineen said that the board would table the discussion until the next meeting, in December. The agreement, she noted, “is to only market this first.”
In other business, the board:
— Agreed to pay $39,800 from the repair reserve fund for the roof repair done last month. Previously, the board had agreed to spend up to $45,000;
— Learned from Barton & Loguidice representative Thomas McDonald that the wastewater treatment plant improvements are now complete;
— Approved a request by Police Chief Todd Pucci to transfer $2,500 from the sale of the village’s 2004 Ford Explorer to the police car reserve fund;
— Approved the Library Lights holiday fund-raiser for Sunday, Dec. 1, at the gazebo in Orsini Park to support the Altamont Free Library; and
— Approved a request by Phil Carducci to hold a Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk on village streets on Saturday, Nov. 30, beginning at 10 a.m.