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Islip Town Board OKs Verizon cell tower on Captree Island

The headquarters for Verizon Communications Inc. in Manhattan.

The headquarters for Verizon Communications Inc. in Manhattan. (Credit: AP, 2005)

The Islip Town Board Tuesday approved a resolution authorizing Supervisor Tom Croci to enter into a contract with Verizon Wireless to install and maintain a cell tower on Captree Island.

South Shore and Fire Island fire officials spoke in favor of the tower, which would boost wireless capability on Fire Island. Kismet Fire Department Chief Dominic Bertucci and other chiefs have expressed concern about the island’s spotty cell service, especially during the summer — a problem they say was exacerbated by superstorm Sandy, which destroyed miles of underground wire and left residents more reliant on the wireless network.

“We do need better cellphone service on Fire Island and the tower on Captree Island would support emergency services as well as any fire department services,” Bertucci told the board.

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Captree Island resident Gino Giorgini warned that unless Verizon Wireless elevates a backup generator to power the cell tower, it likely would be flooded by another weather event like Sandy.

“The entire substation there was submerged” in Sandy’s storm surge, Giorgini said.

The contract with Verizon Wireless has not been finalized, said town attorney Robert Cicale, but the carrier would pay rent to the town to lease the land and would enter into a five-year lease with seven five-year options. The carrier also would pay the town a percentage of the income derived from having subtenants on the tower, Cicale said.

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