Village of Flower Hill closes public hearing on cell nodes

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Village of Flower Hill (photo by Billy Fitzpatrick)

The Village of Flower Hill has decided to close the public hearing about ExteNet installing 18 cell nodes throughout the area – with certain exceptions.

The village’s Board of Trustees agreed to close the public hearing except to those directly affected by an alternate amendment presented to the board Monday night who might not have been notified about the proposed changes. Those include residents living at 22 and 32 Walter Lane in Manhasset, two houses where the nodes are to be installed that Manhasset resident Suzanne Mills said lies directly behind her own home.

“I just think everyone should be made aware of the changes that are being made,” said Mills about the amendment that would add and move poles.

Most of the residents at the meeting addressed their issues with the proposed cell nodes, while another concern being considered is the potential chain reaction that moving one node around could have on the other 17 nodes. 

“If you’re going to move one, how does that impact the others?” asked Trustee Frank Genese. “We’re having trouble understanding how these affect one another. Moving one would create a global problem, we can’t move one without moving everyone’s. We need a map showing the signal from each of these nodes and what could happen if we move them.”

Following a special meeting held July 30 about the appearance of the 18 cell nodes – and with no conclusion reached – Richard Lambert of ExteNet presented the Board of Trustees with an alternative amendment to the company’s application, which included adding and moving utility poles to accommodate the project.

The 18 cell nodes are being proposed by ExteNet to enhance Verizon’s 4G LTE service. Seven of the 18 proposed cell node locations would require that a new wood utility pole be built to accommodate the project and six additional poles be replaced. Three others would be placed in existing utility poles, another one would be placed in an ornamental pole, and the final cell node would be inside a stealth flag pole located at One Bonnie Heights Road – just outside village hall.

While the public hearing has been closed off to everyone else, it can still be reopened. The Board of Trustees agreed to open the public hearing again if any amendments are made by ExteNet, including adding new poles or moving any poles already being proposed.

In the meantime, the record is still open for those wishing to submit their written concerns about the cell nodes. Residents who want to submit their comments have until Friday, Aug. 16, to do so and should expect to receive replies no later than the following Friday, Aug. 23 – the deadline imposed by the village board. The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

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