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Huntington approves cellphone agreements for water towers in Dix Hills

Huntington Town Hall is located at 100 Main

Huntington Town Hall is located at 100 Main St. in Huntington. Photo Credit: Carl Corry

The Huntington Town Board has approved two agreements with New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC in Dix Hills.

The resolutions were approved 3 to 1, with one abstention, on Dec. 9. Both agreements are for five years with options for five-year extensions. The town will be paid $3,601.08 monthly for the Colby Drive agreement and $4,566.92 monthly for the Wolf Hill Road agreement.

The agreements involve land and tower license agreements between the Dix Hills Water District and New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC for the installation, maintenance and use of cellular communications equipment at water district facilities at the two addresses.

In August, the board had rejected similar resolutions to further investigate safety concerns.

"This is a win-win for the environment and our tax base," said town board member Mark Cuthbertson, sponsor of the resolution. "Instead of building new cell towers, we are utilizing existing water towers to generate substantial revenue."

The town had agreements with the carrier for those locations that dated back to 1991. The agreement for the Colby Drive facility expired in March, while the Wolf Hill Road agreement expired in January 2011.

Town board member Susan Berland voted against the agreements. In a September statement, she said: "I have concerns with placement of cell towers on water towers and water sources. Scientists are doing research all the time, and I continue to have concerns."

And on Monday, Berland said she stood by that statement.

Board member Gene Cook, who previously voted against the measures to do more research regarding health and safety, gave his support this time.

"It doesn't seem to be any documented health issues with it, so I decided to vote based on what I found out," Cook said.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone voted yes on the proposals and board member Tracey Edwards abstained because she works for Verizon.

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