If all goes well with the various public hearings/approvals needed, there could soon be better cell phone service in Maybrook, thanks to a 140-foot cell tower near the Public Works (DPW) garage at the end of Liberty Towers gave a preliminary presentation to the Maybrook Village Board at its last meeting to outline its hopes to lease a 103x116-foot, village-owned parcel near the DPW garage and erect a 140-foot tower with a 70-foot pole house seven cell phone company antennae. The site would also house four cell phone “tenant facilities” for Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and First Net with cables connecting those small buildings to the tower. Greg Alvarez estimated only about 40 percent of the leased site would include actual tower and buildings. There would be little to no parking accommodations, he said, because workers are only expected to visit the site approximately once a month.
Liberty Towers representative Greg Alvarez said the tower would help resolve “significant coverage gaps” in the village for normal cell phones as well as emergency cell use such as that provided by First Net for emergency response agencies. Alvarez added that the facility could increase signal coverage up to three-quarters of a mile.
Alvarez’ presentation was “preliminary”, he admitted as the village Planning Board would have to grant a special use permit and the Village Board would have to agree to lease the land to Liberty Towers. But before going too far in the process, he said, the company wanted to gauge support for the project. He got unanimous verbal support from Village Board members.
“I think it’s a good thing for the village,” said Deputy Mayor Robert Pritchard.
Trustee James Barnett asked about any safety concerns relating to cell towers and Alvarez said the tower would be safe. Barnett indicated his initial approval “as long as it’s safe and you said it is”.
Alvarez said that before the four cell service carriers will work with Liberty Towers, they want a lease for the land in place. But the Village Board will not negotiate a lease, on advice of Village Attorney Kelly Naughton, until Liberty Towers submits a formal application to the Planning Board.
“You have to submit an application to the Planning Board,” Naughton said, “and then come back here for a lease and then go back to the Planning Board. It will be kind of like a parallel path.”
Mayor Dennis Leary said the Planning Board will be the “lead agency” on matters relating to the project and that the village will work with a consultant throughout what could be a lengthy process. Liberty Towers may also be required to go before the village Zoning Board of Appeals because Alvarez said some “areas of relief would be needed”, such as from required setbacks, rear yard and pole height.