Hikers air concerns about possible cell tower
Requests to protect the views from the Appalachian Trail in Kent were made to the Connecticut Siting Council this week by three area residents.
The Siting Council held a public hearing Tuesday at Town Hall in New Milford about the application by AT&T, under the name Cingular Wireless, to construct a cell tower in Gaylordsville.
A field review was conducted Tuesday at 2 p.m. A test balloon was flown from the proposed site.
The proposed 150-foot, monopole tower would be constructed on property owned by FirstLight Hydro Generating Company to the east of the Kent Road (Route 7 North) and Grove Road intersection.
Panel antennas in three sectors would allow for up to three additional carriers.
Michael Cunningham, a trail guide from Danbury, spoke of the Appalachian Trail.
He noted from the trail's Herrick Trail section, the tower would be visible.
"Amy's Lookout on the Herrick Trail overlooks the proposed site for the cell tower," Cunningham said. "The Appalachian Trail is a federally designated national scenic trail. I ask that the council consider that in reaching its decision."
Also speaking about the views from the trail was Tina Maripuu.
"Kent is an absolutely gorgeous area," Maripuu said, "and Gaylordsville is the entry to the beautiful northwest corner of the state. I went on the Appalachian Trail today with its sweeping vistas. I'm sure the tower will be seen from there."
Maripuu requested that, if the cell tower were to be installed, it be painted a subtle color to blend in with the surroundings.
Suzanne Avinger, of Gaylordsville, had similar concerns and asked the tower, if installed, resemble a pine tree.
Those who could not attend Tuesday's public hearing may send comments by May 1 to the Connecticut Siting Council, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.
A decision should be rendered by the Siting Council by the end of May.