PUTNEY -- AT&T is considering the town's concerns over a proposed temporary cell tower that the company wants to erect on land across the street from Basketville.
AT&T wanted the town to support the proposal to put up the temporary 85-foot cell tower on the parcel of land on Route 5 across from Basketville, but the Selectboard earlier this month voted unanimously not to endorse the project.
The board and the planning commission wanted the company to do more research to see if the tower could be placed farther back, away from the road.
The Selectboard and planning commission also had concerns about the company's claim that the tower would be temporary.
The proposed certificate of public good application had no language that would force the company to take down the tower.
AT&T Spokesman Will Keyser said the company is going to take another look at the proposed site to see if the temporary tower could be placed farther back without encroaching on the wetlands that border the site.
And he said the company is also considering a way to have language in the application that would address the temporary nature of the tower.
"Our plan is to go to the Public Service Board with a proposal that reflects the feedback we received from the town," Keyser said. "We think the proposal will reflect the concerns of the community."
AT&T says it needs the temporary tower on wheels to improve cell service in the village because a co-location agreement with Verizon has expired.
Verizon owns equipment in New Hampshire that AT&T was using to reach customers in Vermont, but that agreement has expired.
Putney's zoning ordinance prohibits large, stand-alone towers in the village.
Under the state's new telecommunications infrastructure rule cell companies do not need local permits, but instead bring their applications to the Public Service Board which is empowered to issue a certificate of public good for the project.
The company could have applied for the certificate of public good Friday.
"We are still in the process of refining what we plan to submit," Keyser said. "We anticipate that we are going to take into account the feedback we got form the community, especially with respect to location."
At this week's Selectboard meeting Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard gave the board an update on the cell tower, and said the company had sent out an engineer to look at the site.
"They had information on what had been decided," Stoddard said. "Based on what we had recommended they decided to take a closer look at that."
"It seems like our actions maybe caused a little bit of feedback," Selectboard Chairman Josh Laughlin said.
Keyser said AT&T will most likely not bring the application back to the Selectboard before sending it on the Public Service Board for approval.
He said the application would show how the company responded to the town's concerns.
Keyser also said the town is moving forward with its push to find a site for a permanent tower.
He would not give details on where the possible location is, or on how close AT&T is to finalizing the deal, but he said the company might have an announcement soon.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext. 279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Howard @HowardReformer.