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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY

No Target Date Yet For Cell Tower Construction

POUND RIDGE – Shoppers and store owners in the Scotts Corner business district may soon be able to connect to the 21st century and enjoy cell phone service when a plan to erect a cell tower on the property of the Pound Ridge Lions Volunteer Corps is completed.

The four-year process to get the tower approved was recently completed by the planning board,  however local planning board administrator Karen Taft said there is no target date yet as to when construction will actually begin.

“It’s going to be built behind the ambulance building (on Westchester Avenue),” she said. “But so far the building department hasn’t issued a building permit.”

Cell phone service in the business district along Westchester Avenue is practically non-existent and a new tower is desperately needed. The process to approve the project still took four years, but Taft said that happened for a number of reasons.

“The process began in 2007,” she said. “But the approval took so long because first they had to look at a number of sites.  Then they had to do propagation studies, which is a study of how much coverage the tower would provide. And there are always neighbors who complain about it and don’t want it near them, so you have to have several public hearings.”

Taft said the location behind the ambulance corps building is ideal because the tower’s owners, T-Mobile, will pay the volunteer squad a rental fee to use the property. The squad is not part of the fire district and it does not receive taxpayer money. It’s funded primarily by donations.

“It’s great because they desperately need the money,” she said.

Pound Ridge has one existing cell tower on Adams Lane by Route 137 and the town library, but it doesn’t help the business district like the one targeted for the behind the ambulance building will.

Taft said improving cell phone service to the business district was crucial, but there is probably more that needs to be done to make Pound Ridge a more cell phone-friendly town.

“This (cell tower) will improve things somewhat,” she said. “It will help the Scotts Corners area, but eventually we will have to get another one.”

Taft said there are no current proposals for a third tower, but when one does come before the planning board, it’s likely looking at another long approval process.

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