AT & T cell tower plans up in the air
Updated 3:15 pm, Thursday, February 17, 2011
Some Washington residents feel AT&T is playing coy about its plan to construct a cell tower at 17 Warren Road, near Route 202.
Many Washington and Warren residents attending a Jan. 29 informational meeting held by AT&T on the proposal left with the opinion the company is looking for alternative sites, given public opposition to placing a tower on Warren Road, in the Woodville section of the towns.
AT&T spokesman Chuck Coursey released a statement from the company Monday falling short of giving a definitive "yes" or "no" about abandoning the Woodville site.
"We're committed to an open dialogue about alternatives and working with residents who want cell service but are concerned about possible locations and potential impacts," the statement reads.
The statement also notes "for nearly a decade, AT&T... has explored numerous alternative sites" and reiterates the need for a tower to serve the Route 202 corridor.
"At the Jan. 29 meeting, AT&T representatives said that they're deferring making an application for the 17 Warren Road site with the state Siting Council for the time being," Mr. Grimes said Tuesday.
AT&T representatives also said they are exploring extending the height of an already existing Verizon cell tower in Marble Dale and placing transmitters there, he said.
"Our goal is to find sites that won't affect any homes," Mr. Grimes said. "The Siting Council speaks of the applicant finding the least intrusive sites away from population districts and homes -- and that won't destroy scenic vistas."
To that end, Mr. Grimes said he presented three alternative sites for AT&T to consider, all of which are to the southeast of Route 202 and not intrusive to local residents.
Washington's Conservation Commission has taken a strong stance against a Warren Road tower.
"Since that tower... began operating, Verizon customers have had uninterrupted service the entire length of Route 202," Ms. Dupuis noted.
State conservation maps recognize the Route 202 corridor, where Warren Road is located as an important conservation area, as does the town of Washington, she added.