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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 26, 2009

Knox looks to bring AT&T to town

By Zach Simeone

KNOX — Now that Verizon is coming to town, AT&T is looking to co-locate at the cell tower soon to be on town property.

At its March 10 meeting, the town board voted to “entertain a resolution” that would waive the $1,000 building permit normally required for co-location.

“With this kind of inducement, we have a better chance of enticing AT&T to locate on our tower this year,” said Supervisor Michael Hammond this week. “If we can entice AT&T to get on our tower this year, the net result would be practically doubling our income flow from the tower.”

The 195-foot tower, which will be located at 163 Street Road, was approved after years of consideration and keeping the public informed. In the neighboring town of Berne, residents are up in arms about the placement of a Verizon cell tower on Long Road, which was approved seven months after Verizon’s application. On the other hand, the placement of cellular equipment at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Berne, turning the bell tower into a Verizon cell tower, has gone rather smoothly, given the lack of effect on the view that Hilltown residents cherish.

As of yet, there is no projection on how much Knox will be making from the cell tower, Hammond said. “We’re at the very beginning of this contract, and there’re other technicalities we’re going to be wading through,” Hammond concluded. “I can’t give you an estimate on when it will happen, but, our goal is to have AT&T on the tower in the year 2009.”

Other business

In other business at its March 10 meeting, the town board:

— Voted unanimously to switch payroll services, from Automated Data Processing to Paychex. The town did business with ADP for close to 20 years, and it was time to see what the competition had to offer, Hammond told The Enterprise.

“With ADP, it was probably costing the town at least $120 bi-weekly to do payroll, so, I think we’re basically cutting costs in half by switching,” Hammond said. “To run an average bi-weekly payroll is now going to cost a minimum $61, and the reason I said ‘minimum’ is because there may be ancillary expenses, like courier services to deliver the payroll”; and

— Voted unanimously to appoint Cheryl Frantzen as town historian, to replace the recently retired Frieda Saddlemire. Frantzen is current president of the Knox Historical Society, which the board agreed was “substantial reason” to appoint her as town historian.

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