Argues Kent is 'at risk' for proposed cell tower

To the Editor:

I am one of the leaders of a group of local residents trying to get AT&T to revise its proposal to install a 156-foot cell tower along Route 341 between Kent and Warren in favor of the kind of small cells that are to going to be installed on the Metro North corridor, as the state announced late last year in partnership with AT&T.

Due to the hilly topography of Route 341, the small cells would provide better coverage than the one large tower proposed and would avoid the significant negative impact of the presence of a large tower on the Kent Ridgeline, a key local natural resource that has been the subject of conservation efforts since the 1980s and which is protected by a local ordinance (which the large tower would violate if overridden by the Siting Council).

Many areas of the Hudson Valley have adopted the small cell approach to conserve the natural beauty.

The proposal for the large cell tower is coming up before the Siting Council on July 23. The Town of Kent has been assisting the citizen’s group effort to oppose the large cell tower as the large tower would in fact violate its local ridge line ordinance.

Given the pandemic, the Siting Council has chosen not to visit the proposed site, nor done its own balloon tests nor held a hearing in the town to solicit local opinion, as has been its uniform practice up to now.

So, we are at risk of having a huge cell tower approved by the Siting Council without its members ever having visited the site and understood the negative impact it would have on the ridge lines around it.

Todd Powell

South Kent