Plandome meets with Elite Towers about potential cell tower

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The macro tower would be near this parking lot on Stonytown Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Village of Plandome officials met with representatives of Elite Towers last week about the possibility of placing a macro cell tower on village property.

The Deer Park-based company has not submitted an official application for a tower, but approached the village to see if there would be interest in one, said Trustee Andrew Bartels.

“We indicated that yes, there would be, but there still are a lot of complications including what would this mean for the existing ExteNet application that are yet to be resolved,” Bartels said.

ExteNet Systems, which designs small cell nodes, has applied to the village to place 10 nodes throughout the village on behalf of Verizon. Public meetings about the matter have been filled with residents frustrated with the possibility of having new poles and lampposts near their properties, and some have raised the question of why the village could not have one larger cell facility instead.

The mobile phone tower that Elite Towers proposed would be in a wooded area near the Plandome Long Island Railroad station’s second parking lot, Bartels said. The company representatives said it could possibly absolve the need for all 10 cell nodes, he said.

Efforts to reach Elite Towers were unavailing.

Some companies had contacted the village in years past about whether there would be interest in a macro site, he said.

“In the past we said no we don’t think so, but clearly the situation has changed in that this could be the lesser of evils or arguably the better of way of improving cell service,” Bartels said.

Plandome officials have not officially spoken to ExteNet representatives about the interest from Elite Towers because there is not yet a formal application and the village still has to address the ongoing ExteNet application, he said.

At the village’s most recent public meeting, the project manager from the consulting firm it hired to review the ExteNet application warned that a macro site might not eliminate the possibility of smaller nodes.

She recommended that the village not “put all your eggs in that particular basket.”

“It may likely be that even a number of years from now, depending on the capacity of the need in those areas, that Verizon or AT&T, if they were on that macro cell, they may still come back … and request having a small wireless facility in this area,” project manager Susan Rabold said.

The current deadline for Plandome to vote on the 10 cell nodes is Sept. 9.

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