Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon, Minerva
At the April 5 Town Board meeting, Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey informed councilmen of an April 2 letter APA Environmental Program Specialist Ariel Diggory Lynch sent to Verizon Wireless staff in Rochester. The letter reference’s the company’s decision to change locations for its proposed cell tower from town-owned land to Sporty’s Iron Duke Saloon. Lynch cited an article first reported by the News Enterprise (Denton Publications) on its website March 15 explaining that Verizon had signed a one-year land lease agreement with Sporty’s.
“If Verizon Wireless is pursuing an alternate location for the Minerva cell tower, we recommend that the Agency is included early in the process so that we may participate in any balloon studies and provide early feedback,” Lynch wrote. “Our experience indicates that early coordination provides the applicant with the best opportunity for meeting their objectives with minimal design investment while ensuring regulatory compliance.”
Lynch also encouraged Verizon to seek “early communication and coordination” with the town planning board for the same reasons.
Members of the Minerva Planning Board spent most of their April 4 meeting discussing cell phone service and the APA’s letter to Verizon. Corey, Code Enforcement Officer John Williams and Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Simon Gardener were also at the meeting.
On April 5, Planning Board Chairman Duane Ricketson sent an email to Lynch and APA Local Planning Assistance Specialist Brian Grisi detailing the board’s priorities for cell phone service in the town of Minerva. Board members reached a consensus on the following points:
•They want a site that provides service to as many residents as possible.
•They want at least 2G service but would prefer 3G service.
•And they want a tower that provides service to Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile subscribers.
“There is also a sense of dissatisfaction with Verizon regarding both communication and action,” Ricketson wrote. “Because of this there was a general discussion about the feasibility of alternatives.”
One alternative was to have another service provider, such as AT&T, build the tower in Minerva. Another was to have the town build a tower and rent out space.
In collaboration, the Town Board, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public workshop on cell phone service, probably in May. Participants with knowledge of cell phone technology and community owned services are encouraged to attend. Representatives from service providers and the APA will also be invited in order to provide information and increase understanding of the various issues involved.
Three years have passed since Verizon first initiated the project by signing a land lease with the town of Minerva to build a tower on town property at 5 Morse Memorial Highway.
Several other projects were discussed at the Town Board’s April 5 meeting.
•Councilmen David Labar and Eric Klippel reported that they expected to have a written quote for repairing the town generator. They noted that this was the fourth contractor that they had consulted since January.
•Councilman Keith DuBay said that Warner Brothers Construction was evaluating the roof of the highway garage in order to determine the reason for the damage it sustained and how to prevent it in future. They will be submitting this report to Star Engineering. Related to this issue, the board discussed options for having insulation removed from the roof.
•The chain saw safety training that had previously been agreed upon is scheduled to take place on April 24.
•It was noted that the milfoil project had been so effective over the past few years that only 40 hours were needed this year in order to continue the management and removal of the plants from the area. This would be scheduled in two 20-hour blocks, at the beginning and end of the season.