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Proposed cell tower still a dream in Inlet

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - Updated: 5:15 PM

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

INLET - Supervisor John Frey suggested and the Inlet Town Board has agreed to hold a public hearing on a lease agreement for a cell tower site at Fern Mountain, even though Independent Towers Holdings LLC has yet to confirm AT&T's choice for a site.

Independent Towers Regional Manager Dan Schweigard told the town in December 2011 that AT&T had expressed interest in establishing cell phone service in Inlet and Raquette Lake, which would boost cell phone reception in the Old Forge to Blue Mountain Lake corridor by about 95 percent.

After AT&T gave Independent Towers a letter of intent, balloon tests to determine visibility were done at Fern Mountain and on land owned by Dave Corasanti late last year. Such tests are required to obtain a permit to build a tower within the Adirondack Park.

Whichever site is chosen, according to Schweigard, construction averages about $200,000 but there is no charge to the site owner, who would lease the property to AT&T and receive on average about $1,000 per month in rent.

The board does not care where the tower is built, so long as one is.

Independent Towers and the town have negotiated a lease that places time limits on Independent Towers to perform, according to Frey. "In short, if they don't build a tower and make it operational within the terms of the lease, the town will be free to seek another company or construct a tower on its own," he says.

Determined to have a cell tower in operation in the not too distant future, Frey said he believes the town should look into bonding to build its own tower and then seek a cell phone company to lease it if Independent Towers does not proceed in a timely fashion.

SEWAGE TREATMENT TRAINING

Someone is needed to run the Town of Inlet Wastewater Treatment Plant, expected to be operational sometime in June, so the Town Board has made arrangements for a town employee to be trained at the Town of Webb Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The intermunicipal agreement signed Tuesday, April 9, will allow Don Haehl to observe and receive not less than six months of satisfactory experience in the actual operation of Webb's wastewater treatment plant.

After the training Haehl will need to pass the Grade 1A license examination administered by the state to become a certified wastewater treatment operator.

On a related matter, the board agreed to hold a public hearing on the sewer law when it meets in May.

HIGHWAY NEWS

Superintendent of Highways Shawn Hansen reported he has taken delivery of the new Ford F250 pickup truck from Van Bortel Ford, East Rochester.

Hansen also said the department has gone to the summer schedule of four 10-hour days, with Fridays off.

The transfer station is open Thursdays through Mondays, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and closed for lunch from 12-1 p.m.

OTHER BUSINESS

-- Police Chief Andrew Kalil was authorized to purchase a new police car on state contract for up to $32,000.

-- Town Clerk Patty Whittmeyer said the Board of Assessment Review needs an alternate member. Anyone interested in serving should call her office at 357-5771.

The Town Board will next meet Tuesday, May 14, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.

peterklein@hamiltoncountyexpress.com

     

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