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Indian Lake residents: Can you hear me now?

INDIAN LAKE - Local residents may soon be privy to cell phone service, as local communities are aggressively seeking more cell towers and the Adirondack Park Agency has consistently showed signs of supporting the initiative.

"We are trying to plug in the whole region," Indian Lake Supervisor Barry Hutchins said April 8. "This is the first step in letting people know that yes, you can do business here."

In 2008, the APA issued eight permits for the construction of new cell towers throughout the park. Others are planned within hamlets that have home-rule authority.

Indian Lake has been in negotiations with Verizon for several months, Hutchins said. They are seeking to construct two new towers - one in Indian Lake and another in Blue Mountain Lake.

The Blue Mountain tower would expand service to locations as far as Raquette Lake, Hutchins said.

Verizon officials addressed the Indian Lake Planning Board last week.

"They presented a complete and thorough application," Hutchins said. "They are really trying to get the park plugged-in."

The park is typically classified as 'under-served.'

"We are proceeding forward with the necessary zoning assessment," Hutchins said. "There will be a public hearing on May 6."

In Johnsburg, similar interest has been expressed by cell carriers and cell tower construction firms.

Last week, Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed met with representatives of the tower engineering firm Independent Towers, LLC, he said.

"They have more towers within the blue-line than anyone else," Goodspeed said April 7. "I expect the site identification process to be concluded next week."

Goodspeed said that Independent Towers representatives will likely be present at the May 5 town board meeting.

"Unlike some of the companies I have talked with, they can establish a meaningful timeline," Goodspeed said. "They have a strong relationship with several cell carriers and a history of receiving APA approval."

According to Johnsburg Central School Superintendent Mike Markwica, there is a possibility that one of the towers may be located on school property. There is typically a rental cost paid by the carrier for towers placed on property.

"I have let them know that we are definitely interested," Markwica said April 6.

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