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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Marpe ‘Disappointed’ at Cell Tower Balloon Test

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe says that he will press AT&T and North Atlantic Towers to find “other locations and technologies” better suited for the town than the proposed cell tower at 92 Greens Farms Road.

WestportNow.com Image
Site of the proposed cell tower at 92 Greens Farms Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Marpe made his comment in a statement Wednesday following his office receiving notice that North Atlantic will be floating two balloons, one at 150 feet, the other at 110, to evaluate the top of the tower height, as well as obstructions.

Marpe said that the test is scheduled for June 3 weather permitting, or June 4 and 5 if necessary.

“While the formal application to the Connecticut Siting Council has not been filed, nor has the required technical report been submitted to the town, North Atlantic Towers apparently intends to do this preliminary balloon test,” Marpe said. “I was surprised and disappointed to receive this announcement.”

He added that even a representative from AT&T he had contacted was unaware of the test.

“Working with the neighbors, I will still be pressing AT&T and North Atlantic Towers to pursue other locations and technologies that are better suited for the town and this neighborhood,” Marpe said. 

North Atlantic Towers is being represented by Cohen and Wolf, P.C., a Bridgeport-based law firm with offices in town

In a letter to Marpe, attorney Julie D. Kohler stressed that the150-foot height “is not the height proposed” for the tower.

“Flying balloons at heights of both 150 and 110 feet (with 10-foot incremental flagging in between and below to 100 feet) provides us with an opportunity to evaluate the top of tower height at 110 and have reference points for photographs and scaling,” she wrote.

“The 150-foot balloon also give us a focal point well above tree line and other obstructions during the field reconnaissance so we can locate the site in those areas where the 110-foot balloon may be at or slightly above/below the canopy,” she added.

Meanwhile, neighbors on Greens Farms Road have launched a petition at http://www.change.org urging Marpe to fight the tower.

“It is not a NIMBY issue; this is a safety issue,” said Mary Ann West. “This area already has I-95, Metro-North tracks, surrounded by high powered power lines and so much more.

“One of the largest problems with utility companies, is that local zoning & regulations are bypassed; national and international companies hide behind the Siting Council up in the Hartford area to do their biding,” she added.

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Posted 05/29/14 at 02:11 PM  Permalink



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