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Cell towers gain APA approval

NORTH HUDSON - A gap in cell phone coverage between exit 30 and the town of North Hudson on the Adirondack Northway may be no more in the very near future.

The Adirondack Park Agency Regulatory Programs Committee has approved the construction of two cell towers on the same parcel at a privately owned sandpit near Holiday Pond.

According to APA Environmental Programs Specialist George Outcalt, Verizon Wireless will be constructing a 74-foot tall tower, while T-Mobile Wireless will be constructing an 85-foot monopole tower.

Outcalt said the permit requires the Verizon tower to be cloaked as a pine tree to mitigate any possible visibility from drivers who stop at a near by rest area.

Outcalt noted that allowing the construction of the two towers 1,400 feet apart will allow for future co-location as other cellular providers move into the area.

"The potential for future co-location is there," he said. "The towers would be visible, but only from limited locations so they comply with the agency towers policy."

But not all commissioners were on-board with the plan, as Commissioner Dick Booth believes that this was a rare opportunity for the agency to require co-location and minimize the amount of towers dotting the Adirondack skyline.

"My sense is there are relatively few places the agency is in a position to demand co-location," Booth said. "If there is a place for it, this is it."

Booth said that he supported cell phone expansion, especially along the I-87 corridor, but couldn't support the measure out of principle.

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