Port Henry A new cell phone tower in Port Henry will benefit Moriah residents.
The tower, located at the end of Spring Street, is expected to be activated Sept. 27 by Verizon.
When it goes live, the “franken-pine” will give local residents improved cell phone coverage and options.
“Customers will have a choice now,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “No longer will AT&T have a monopoly in our town. Before you pretty much had go with AT&T because they were the only ones with coverage. Now consumers can shop for the best deal.”
AT&T has a tower on Belfrey Mountain in Moriah and towers in Vermont directly across Lake Champlain from the town. The 80-foot tall Spring Street tower is the first for Verizon in Moriah.
Besides improved calling and consumer options, the Verizon tower is also helping out town and village taxpayers. Verizon is paying $900 a month — $450 to the town of Moriah and $450 to the village of Port Henry — for five years to lease the jointly-owned town-village property. The rent will increase 3 percent each year of the contract.
Moriah, Port Henry and Verizon actually reached an agreement on the cell tower in 2008, but it has taken five years to navigate Adirondack Park Agency regulations. The project was opposed by Terra Mountain LLC, a Vermont company that owns the adjacent land that includes a out-of-service water tower.
Once the APA permit was approved work began on the cell tower in February.
The new tower is designed to look like a tree and blend into the environment. Scozzafava believes it does.
“I think they (Verizon) did a really nice job,” he said. “If you’re down at the (Port Henry) boat launch and look up you don’t even notice it.”