Cell Tower Gets Bad Reception

Photo by Laura Luengas

Shawangunk may receive a new addition in the near future, but opinions are varying since it will come in the form of a 120-foot Verizon cell phone tower.

The tower would be a standard issue with all wires contained inside and neither a flag nor light atop, but this is not the main point of opposition; if approved, it is to be located on the residential Twin Ponds Lane, consequentially obstructing views from scenic outlooks at Minnewaska State Park, which is only four miles away.

“This was not our preferred structure at all,” said attorney Scott P. Olson, representing Verizon Wireless at a town board meeting last month, “It’s a significant compromise to our system and our network but we heard concerns from the public and the board.”

The degree of visibility has been argued since the tower would be blocked by surrounding trees, but it would be apparent from areas such as the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge and a number of other scenic areas within close proximity.

At this point in time, the decision remains within the hands of the town of Shawangunk planning board.

“There may be a vote on the third [of November],” said Shawangunk Planning Board Chair Kris Pederson.

Until the vote is held amongst the board, no future actions are certain.