Cell tower in the works for Whitingham

Tuesday July 2, 2013

WHITINGHAM -- Cell service along the Route 100 south corridor is expected to improve in the near future.

The Whitingham Selectboard signed a lease option with SBA Network Services on Nov. 14, 2012 that allows SBA to construct a cell tower. The board was required to submit a letter of support to the Vermont Public Service Board, which handles requests for the construction of towers.

The application submitted to the VPSB was filed along with VTel Wireless. The VPSB approved on June 28.

There were no complaints or issues that the Selectboard acknowledged in its letter of support.

The proposed tower will be located on town property behind the Highway Department garage at 4189 Vermont Route 100. It is near the town's transfer station.

"The objective of the project is to expand wireless broadband coverage in the surrounding area," stated the findings in the application. "The project involves the installation of a new telecommunications tower with antennas, an equipment cabinet and associated operating equipment within a new fenced compound. The project also includes the construction of an access road to the compound."

The tower will be 140 feet tall with 12 antennas of various dimensions. The equipment cabinet will be 77 inches by 52 inches by 28 inches. It will be installed on a 8 feet by 6 feet concrete pad.

The facility will be located within a 57 feet by 77 feet compound surrounded by an 8-foot high chain link fence. The access road is set to be 12 feet wide and 150 feet long with a 10-foot by 16-foot parking area in front of the compound.

"The project will not have an undue adverse impact on floodways, the scenic or natural beauty of the area, aesthetics, historic sites or rare and irreplaceable natural areas," stated the findings. "The project will fit the context of the area as it will be located on a heavily developed lot... The project will also have limited visibility of the public rights-of-way in the vicinity."

The Whitingham Selectboard Office said there hasn't been any notification on what provider SBA will be leasing the tower to.

A balloon test had been completed to see what the structure would be like. Other tests are under way and once finalized, construction can begin.

SBA could not be reached for comment.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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