Flower Hill residents urge board to deny cell node applications

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ExteNet's Richard Lambert discussed the company's 18 cell node applications in Flower Hill. (Photo by Jessica Parks)

Flower Hill residents urged the village board to deny ExteNet’s 18 cell node applications at the village’s monthly board meeting on Monday.

No vote was taken on the matter at the meeting and board members are not expecting any vote to take place at July’s meeting either.

Attorney Andrew Campanelli of Campanelli & Associates PC in Merrick told the board that the Lake Success village board was able to deny nine out of its 13 cell node applications.

He was retained by Flower Hill resident Michael Koufakis and his family. Campanelli said that he has reviewed cell applications from California to New York and “I submit to this board that the most defective applications I have ever seen are ones filed by ExteNet.”

The applications submitted to Flower Hill are so devoid of evidence that it is impossible for the board to ascertain if ExteNet met the village’s requirements, Campanelli said.

He said in the village code, there are listed priority sites and if the applicant can’t choose one of those priority sites, the company has to explain why.

“The applicant hasn’t not only shown you why but hasn’t even given you any chance of figuring out why they are going where they are going,” he said.

Richard Lambert, ExteNet’s external relations director for the East Coast, said the cell nodes ExteNet has applied for are to enhance Verizon’s 4G service.

He said the additional cell installations are needed because Verizon found that service in the area does not meet its standards.

Bob Hendrickson, a Flower Hill resident, said he has walked from his home on Dogwood Lane to his office on Plandome Road for the last 30 years and “never had a dropped call.”

Therefore, he said he thinks the cell installation on Eakins Road is redundant.

Suzanne Mills, a Flower Hill resident concerned over a proposed cell node at 399 Dogwood Lane, said she is apprehensive as to how the radiation will affect her daughter with epilepsy.

“I feel as if she could be especially at risk,” Mills said. “I would like the board to hear my request and I do not want it at 399 Dogwood Lane.”

She said she understands that board members may feel that their hands are tied with the Federal Communications Commission not giving them much right to say no to these applications.

“There is a small town in Wisconsin that just said no,” she said.

She urged the Flower Hill village board to have the gumption to say no despite potential consequences from the FCC.

ExteNet’s application does not have a set design for the cell node applications yet due to the company wanting to find out how residents would like to see them look, Lambert said.

Some cell nodes would be installed on existing utility poles owned by PSEG, while ExteNet would install its own utility poles to host other cell nodes. 

For ExteNet’s additional infrastructure, the company has proposed installing standard telephone poles or infrastructure that could serve dual purposes, such as street lights.

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