Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon, Minerva
Several community members at the May 17 Minerva Town Board meeting voiced their concerns, questions, and frustrations on the lack of cell phone service in town.
Jack Demers said he had recently been to town with cell service -- Schroon Lake, Pottersville, Wevertown and Chestertown – and asked why he still can’t use a cell phone in the town of Minerva. He noted that after two or more years of planning, there was still no cell tower.
Town Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey said Verizon has not yet submitted an application or proposal to the Adirondack Park Agency for its Minerva cell tower, proposed for the Sporty’s Iron Duke Saloon property on State Route 28N.
Demers asked if there was anything that could be done to move the process along, and Corey listed the actions taken to date. The town has attempted to contact Verizon on several occasions. The Adirondack Park Agency had written to Verizon, encouraging them to get in touch with both the Agency and the town. And in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, the town had written to the governor to ask for help in getting cell service. None of these actions were successful in getting a response from Verizon.
David Beale, owner of Sporty’s Iron Duke Saloon, said he’s had no luck with Verizon.
“I have a contract for the cell tower with them and they won’t talk to me either,” Beale said. There isn’t very good communication over there; you can’t get to talk to anybody.”
Ed Healey said that he had tried to address it with Essex County as an emergency service issue but was told that “if no one has died because of a lack of cell service, that it’s hard for them to say it’s an emergency service issue.”
Corey said she’s even had tried to reach out to the Public Service Commission but was told that they had no jurisdiction because cell service is federally regulated. Councilman Eric Klippel asked if it was because the town doesn’t represent a big enough customer base. Corey replied that that was essentially the bottom line, but she promised she would keep working on the issue and that the town would eventually get cell service. She just couldn’t promise when.
In other news:
Two individuals were interviewed and hired to remove insulation from the Highway Garage Roof, Paul Clickner and Coty Morehouse. It was noted that they would both receive safety training and that Highway Superintendent Bruce McGinn would supervise.
Councilmen Eric Klippel and Dave LaBar reported that they had received two quotes for a generator for the Town Hall. Each quote corresponds to a different location for the generator. They are in the process of weighing the pros and cons of each placement and will keep the board informed.
Charli Lewis, the Director of the Real Property Tax Office for Essex County, would be attending the Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for Monday May 21 in Elizabethtown to address concerns about signing the memorandum that was sent out to towns from the regional Real Property Tax Office located in Saranac Lake. There was a good deal of concern about what the implications of signing the document would be. Corey noted that as far as she knew, no towns had signed it yet.