MARLBORO -- Verizon Wireless wants to build a 137-foot monopole telecommunications tower on land near Route 9, near Auger Hole Road in Marlboro.
A public meeting will be held as soon as the results of a balloon test planned for this week are available. Information will be available on the town's Front Porch Forum
"We want to hold the meeting to get public input and to let the public know what is happening," said Marlboro Planning Commission Chairman Matt Tell. "It's a chance for the Selectboard and Planning Commission to assess what the public thinks about this cell tower."
If Verizon gets its permit the new tower will be built on a high point, at about 2,000 feet in elevation, off of Auger Hole Road. The access road to the site starts about 1.1 miles from where Auger Hole Road leaves Route 9
Verizon Wireless intends to file a petition for a certificate of public good with the Public Service Board and has informed the town, and abutting property owners about their plans. The company wants to erect the 137-foot tower with 12 panel antennas, which will extend the overall height to about 140 feet The project will also include a 50-square-foot compound surrounded by an eight foot high chain-link fence and a 12-by-30 equipment shed
The new tower is expected to improve service in the town of Marlboro and along portions of Route 9 that are located near the site. This is the third cell tower application for land near Route 9 in Marlboro in less than a year. Route 9 is the major east-west corridor in the southern part of Vermont and the state is eager to improve cell service along the corridor.
The proposed tower is part of a plan to provide wireless telecommunications infrastructure along Route 9 from Brattleboro to Bennington, the company said in its 45-day notification which companies are required to file at least 45 days before the application goes in to the PSB.
Verizon hopes to build a new road up to the high point off of Auger Hole Road, known as Central Mountain, on about 32 acres of land owned by Timothy and Madonna Racine.
According to the company's project description, the equipment shed will include the transmitting and receiving base station equipment and either a diesel or propane generator. If a propane generator is used then the company plans to install a 1,000-gallon propane tank in the compound on a concrete pad north of the equipment shelter.
Verizon hopes to use an existing logging road to access the compound, though the road will probably require some improvements, including a bridge across Bellows Brook.
The state stream engineer will have to visit the site and sign off on the plan. Along with the CPG petition Verizon will also be applying for a stream alteration permit. Verizon said it will do what it can to minimize the environmental impact of the steep road. The company said it plans to install culverts and water bars to minimize disturbance to the existing slope, and checkdams and silt fencing to control erosion during and after construction.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 279.