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Council sends Wells Communications back to drawing board for antenna replacement

— Town officials have told Wells Communications to follow an established process if it wishes to replace a defective antenna.

Beekmantown Town Supervisor Dennis Relation had reviewed the Wells Communications request to replace the radio station equipment and made comments about the issue during the Town Board’s Aug. 15 meeting.

“What I see is this is a general request to be waived from any requirements by local law,” Relation said.

Ed Kehn, president of Wells Communications, said this was essentially what he was asking.

Relation asked Kehn if he had read the local law regulating wireless telecommunication facilities. Kehn said he had.

“During the application process, there are specific rules that you have to follow,” the supervisor said. “You can ask for a waiver of specific sections of the application process.”

Kehn said he didn’t think his antenna fell under the jurisdiction of the law.

“That tower’s been up there since the ‘50s,” the company president said.

“But there is a process,” the supervisor said. “This is a local law for everybody.”

“Yes sir,” Kehn said. “I didn’t know that it pertained to doing maintenance or making changes on a bad antenna.”

Relation said the Town Board needed to treat all applicants equally, and to do so, applicants had to follow the established process.

Board member Sydney Sue Garrant agreed.

“We need to make sure that everyone adheres to the same process or we’re not doing our job properly,” Garrant said.

Kehn said his company was not large.

“I’m going to have to hire an attorney,” the company president said. “I’m not an AT&T or Verizon.”

Relation said he understood that.

“In your answers to each requirement, maybe you ought to address some of those concerns,” the supervisor said. “Some of those simply don’t apply.”

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