Glenburn board unanimously OKs cell phone tower

Posted Sept. 15, 2010, at 11:06 p.m.

GLENBURN, Maine — Despite some opposition from local homeowners, members of the planning board on Tuesday night voted unanimously to grant U.S. Cellular Corp. the land use permit it was seeking to build and operate a new wireless communications facility at 1839 Pushaw Road.

The facility, which will include a 195-foot-tall lattice communications tower and related equipment, will be constructed next spring, Chairwoman Brenda Moody said Wednesday. She said the tower, once installed, will be the fourth in the community.

The board’s vote to issue the permit came after an hourlong discussion during which several residents of the Cedar Breeze area raised concerns ranging from potential health effects to aesthetics as well as possible interference with a private runway at nearby Pushaw Lake, Moody said.

“The frustration was obvious,” Moody said.

Moody, however, noted that the board is bound to municipal zoning ordinances passed several years ago in a townwide vote.

“The solution for these things is for people to get involved” in local land use planning matters, Moody said. “Nobody is coming forward to volunteer” to serve on town boards and committees.

Moody said the permit was issued because the company had met all federal and state requirements as well as local ordinance rules. She said U.S. Cellular representatives indicated that the tower would help address dead spots in area cell phone service.

As a condition, she said, the board required that the company install fencing around the tower and that it or any future owner be responsible for dismantling the tower at its own cost should the equipment be put out of service for a year or longer. The company also must enclose its backup generator in a concrete structure.

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