PUTNEY -- AT&T has found a location for a permanent cell tower and the company will be filing a 248 permit soon with the Public Service Board. AT&T wants to erect the 130-foot monopine pole at 20 Shag Bark Hill Road, off of Old Route 5 near the Beatrice Aiken Wildlife Preserve.
AT&T spokesman Will Keyser said the new tower will improve and extend coverage that the temporary tower in the center of the village provides, as well as replace the coverage that dropped out when AT&T lost its roaming agreement with equipment Verizon owned in New Hampshire.
The new tower will also improve service along Route 91.
AT&T installed a temporary tower near Basketville in November, which mainly provides service in downtown Putney.
"Our goal in the community was to have the temporary site be as temporary as possible," said Keyser. "We worked aggressively to find a replacement site for a permanent tower and indeed we have found that site."
The company, during public hearings, said the tower near Basketville would only be up for a short time and Keyser said if the Public Service Board approves the permit application the temporary tower will come down as soon as the permanent tower is working.
Keyser said the application for the permanent tower will be very similar to the one the company just went through. He said the application will be filed in the next two weeks, which will open up a 45-day comment period. Public hearings will be scheduled with company representatives available to provide information. If the Public Service Board issues a certificate of public good it will take six to eight months to get the new pole in service.
"We will proceed through the process and if there are concerns with the site we will hear them," Keyser said. "If the concerns are something we can accommodate without sacrifice to our service we will do our best to meet those needs. We are hopeful we will be able to expedite the process given there is significant need for service in the area."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.