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Better Cell Coverage comming to the Adirondacks

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by Blaise, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Blaise

    Blaise Junior Member
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    This article was taken from the Press Republican. Looks like some towns are stepping up to provide cell coverage in the Adirondacks! Finally!

    Expansion of cell service
    By KIM SMITH DEDAM, Staff Writer
    ELIZABETHTOWN -- Cell phones may start ringing in the hamlet of Elizabethtown.

    At this week's meeting, the Town Council reviewed preliminary plans from Verizon Wireless to place an antenna inside the cupola atop Elizabethtown Town Hall.

    The agreement would deliver cell-phone coverage to the county seat, according to Supervisor Noel Merrihew (R-Elizabethtown), and fill in one of many dead zones between Lake Champlain and Lake Placid.

    HIDDEN
    It would also satisfy regulations in the Adirondack Park Agency's Towers Policy, which requires new cell towers to be "substantially invisible," preferring placement on existing tall structures.

    "This one will essentially disappear," Merrihew said.

    "It will be housed inside the square structure on top of the building. There would be nothing located outside the cupola."

    A 12-by-12-foot equipment support box would be set up either behind the Town Hall or in the basement.

    Several rounds of engineering tests done by Verizon Wireless at the site over the past month have proved favorable, Merrihew said.

    "We are committed to working it out, as we have a real void (in cell service) here. It's a problem we need to solve."

    TOWN LEASES
    Other towns in Essex County have established lease agreements with cell-phone services that bring revenue along with improvements in mobile communication.

    In Essex, Nextel situated a cell-phone antenna on the water tower and painted it the same color to make it substantially invisible.

    "You can't see it unless you're right under it," said Supervisor Ron Jackson (R-Essex).

    The 20-year lease agreement earns residents of the Essex water district $14,000 annually. The payment grows by 4 percent each year. Essex applies the revenue to district bond payments, Jackson said.

    "The thing you have to remember is where the tower goes is where the money goes."

    MONEY, SAFETY
    In the Town of Schroon, Supervisor Cathy Moses said the town has three cell-tower lease agreements, one of which has been in place since 1995.

    Cell equipment in Schroon is located on the town's water tower.

    "We get two checks: one for $441 per month and one for $840 per month," Moses said. "It's not a blanket amount; they look at each site individually. But the revenue offsets costs in the district, and that is always helpful."

    The real benefits are to emergency response concerns, Moses added.

    "There is no more of that helpless feeling when someone is injured or stranded by the roadside" and help can't be summoned.

    In Lake Placid, Olympic Regional Development Authority has four carriers located on top of the ski jumps, providing a combined $5,000 per month in revenue.

    "For the type of business ORDA does, cell service here has a great advantage," said spokesman Sandy Caligiore. "It's helped our communication process greatly, especially in times of need. And everyone benefits from the installation."

    LONG-TERM LEASE
    Specifics on the timeline for Verizon Wireless installation in Elizabethtown are not final, but Merrihew said they are looking at a 25-year lease that would be reviewed every five years.

    Unicel recently leased a cell-tower location on town property behind the landfill in North Hudson but has not completed installation of equipment there.

    E-mail Kim Smith Dedam at: [email protected]
     
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  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Yes!!! Verizon is finally even expanding in your neck of the woods! ;)
     
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