Can you hear me now? Cell tower again being proposed in Altamont

ALTAMONT — A company that proposed placing a communications tower in the village in 2013, is seeking public comment about its latest plan to install a “120-foot monopole telecommunications tower” in the same place, on Agawam Lane.

Altamont, in 2013, signed a land-license agreement with Enterprise Consulting Services “for the purpose of installing a communications tower,” according to the meeting minutes from 2013, when the agreement was unanimously approved by trustees.

“The contract obligates the village to provide the property,” said Michael Moore, the village’s attorney at the time.

In 2013, then-trustee, now Mayor Kerry Dineen said that land-license agreement allowed Enterprise Consulting Services to market Altamont to communications carriers.

“We want this to go through planning and zoning ‘process,’ ” Dineen said at the time. “It is up the hill, in the middle of a bunch of trees.”

Dineen told the Enterprise this week, by email, that the current agreement came about due to residents’ need for improved cell-phone service. Altamont would also receive rent on the village-owned property, she said.

The Enterprise reported, in 2013, that the expected rent would be about $7,000 per year per cell-phone carrier.

The legal notice says that “public comments regarding effects on historic properties” can be submitted to Lori Bart, Tetonic Engineering, 70 Pleasant Hill Rd., Mountainville, New York 10953 by Friday, Nov. 16. Bart can also be reached at 845-534-5959.

Bart did not return a call seeking comment.

The notice was not placed by the village, according to Dineen, but by Tetonic Engineering, a company that would be working on the tower project with ECS; the notice was placed in The Enterprise in order to satisfy a State Historical Preservation Office requirement.

“This is typically undertaken as a prerequisite to the formal municipal planning process,” the mayor wrote in an email. “It does not, in any way, replace our own Village planning process which ECS will have to go through when they are ready to proceed.”

No application has been filed with the village, according to the mayor.

The planning board — not the village board — would receive the application, and would have the authority to approve the installation of a cell tower.

The repeated tower request comes coincidentally at the same time Stewart’s Shops has revived its once-thought-dead proposal to expand its store at 1001 Altamont Blvd.

The next planning board meeting, if needed, will take place on Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m., at village hall.

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