Board OKs tower promo

ALTAMONT — The village board here agreed last week to enter a land-license agreement to allow marketing of a cell tower that could be built within the village.
If constructed, the tower could provide income from rent earned from communications companies, Trustee Kerry Dineen said previously. The tower could also improve local cell coverage, she said.

Bill Biscone, a representative of the communications company ECS, said in November that the village would tax ECS, which would pay the school district and village taxes, once a tower was built.

“This is an agreement for future activities,” Biscone said.

The land-license agreement requires the use of an 80-by-80-foot parcel of land. The board discussed but did not formalize the use of land, which now has Altamont’s water towers, at 23 Agawam Lane. (Agawam Lane opens off of Route 156, the Berne-Altamont Road, on the shoulder of the escarpment across from Helderberg Avenue.)

Dineen said last week that the agreement allows ECS to market Altamont to communications carriers. Biscone said previously that the carriers in the region are Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Mobile, and AT&T.

“We want this to go through planning and zoning ‘process,’ ” Dineen said. “It is up the hill, in the middle of a bunch of trees.”

Trustee William Aylward noted that the proposed tower may be 100 feet tall. Aylward also said that, as previously reported, he did not attend an initial meeting with ECS and village representatives.

At the trustees’ November meeting, Aylward had slowed the adoption of the agreement by asking if residents had been notified that a tower might be installed. “I want to know more. There’s no big rush,” he said then.

Mayor James Gaughan said at the December board meeting that the Guilderland Central School District will be “watching” to tax the village for the tower, if it is constructed.

Income would come in only after wireless facilities were installed on the tower and the rents from the facilities were paid to ECS, Village Attorney Michael Moore said earlier.

Biscone said that expected rent would be about $7,000 per year per carrier.

Other business

In other business, the village board:

— Agreed to offer village water for a two-lot subdivision at GI Road in Guilderland for Jodi and Aaron Wey. The standard connection fee is $2,500 per unit;

— Agreed to renew health insurance contracts with Mohawk Valley Physicians Health Plan and Capital District Physicians Health Plan for retired employees; and

— Approved the Altamont Fire Department officers elected by members in November: Robert White, as chief; Paul Miller, as first assistant chief; and Mark Huggins, as second assistant chief.

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