Amidst a time littered with zoning code battles, Mobilitie, a company who prides itself as a global provider of complete wireless solution, submitted a proposal for a 72-foot cell tower to the New Paltz Town Board.
The proposal, while trying to address the massive cell coverage issue in the community, was turned down.
New Paltz Town Supervisor Neil Bettez stated that a major flaw in the proposal was the height of the potential tower.
“It would be 72 feet tall. It would be twice as tall as all the buildings in the whole area,” Bettez said.
Deputy Town Supervisor Daniel Torres expressed similar sentiments.
“The tower would just be too tall; it would easily be the largest structure in the area and nobody wants that,” he said. “Right off the bat, it would have received opposition from the community.”
The proposal was initially met with suggestions to shorten the height of the structure in order to receive approval from the community.
Mobilitie Company Manager Paul Costa contended that while that was a possibility, in order to reach cell coverage goals, there would have to be installments of more than just one utility pole.
“We listened to their proposal, their coverage was very small,” Bettez said. “It wouldn’t even reach the end of the road.”
Because of this, Torres confirmed that the town will not be going ahead with plans for the cell tower.
Torres admitted that the cell coverage issue isn’t necessarily a town objective.
“Aside from Mobilitie’s proposal, we haven’t had conversations beyond that topic,” he said.
Much to the chagrin of many students on campus, as of right now there aren’t any plans to revisit the issue.
First-year engineering major Haley Niggl lamented that cell coverage on campus has been less than optimal.
“I have to go searching for a signal,” she said. “It makes things difficult when I want to call home to my family.”
First-year anthropology major Marisa Tagliaferro told a similar story.
“Since I’ve gotten here, it has been a constant battle of not receiving calls and not having my texts go through,” Tagliaferro said.
Both Niggl and Tagliaferro utilize Verzion as their cell data provider.
Bettez claimed that, anecdotally, the area that Mobilitie was targeting is poor for cell signal coverage.
“It’s the worst in the village core,” he said. “We were hoping they would present something that would provide something that would market the entire town.”