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APA queries Verizon about Minerva cell tower

Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon, Minerva

Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon, Minerva Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Town officials and Adirondack Park Agency staff would like Verizon Wireless to improve its communication when planning cell phone towers in the town of Minerva.

At the April 5 Town Board meeting, Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey informed councilmen of an April 2 letter APA Environmental Program Specialist Ariel Diggory Lynch sent to Verizon Wireless staff in Rochester. The letter reference’s the company’s decision to change locations for its proposed cell tower from town-owned land to Sporty’s Iron Duke Saloon. Lynch cited an article first reported by the News Enterprise (Denton Publications) on its website March 15 explaining that Verizon had signed a one-year land lease agreement with Sporty’s.

“If Verizon Wireless is pursuing an alternate location for the Minerva cell tower, we recommend that the Agency is included early in the process so that we may participate in any balloon studies and provide early feedback,” Lynch wrote. “Our experience indicates that early coordination provides the applicant with the best opportunity for meeting their objectives with minimal design investment while ensuring regulatory compliance.”

Lynch also encouraged Verizon to seek “early communication and coordination” with the town planning board for the same reasons.

Members of the Minerva Planning Board spent most of their April 4 meeting discussing cell phone service and the APA’s letter to Verizon. Corey, Code Enforcement Officer John Williams and Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Simon Gardener were also at the meeting.

On April 5, Planning Board Chairman Duane Ricketson sent an email to Lynch and APA Local Planning Assistance Specialist Brian Grisi detailing the board’s priorities for cell phone service in the town of Minerva. Board members reached a consensus on the following points:

•They want a site that provides service to as many residents as possible.

•They want at least 2G service but would prefer 3G service.

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