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Smithtown residents balk at cell tower plan

Residents of a Smithtown neighborhood are objecting to a proposal to build a 55-foot-tall cell phone tower on the site of a nursing home.

Wireless phone company T-Mobile wants to construct the tower at the Smithtown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care, at 391 North Country Rd., between the Village of the Branch and the hamlet of St. James. The tower requires approval from the Smithtown Town Board.

A dozen neighbors of the nursing home — 11 opposed to the tower and one in favor — spoke at a public hearing Thursday night. Opponents said they were concerned about the tower’s potential impact on their health and property values, and several said they thought it would be visual blight in the neighborhood.

Keith Patrick Brown, a Melville attorney representing T-Mobile, said the tower is needed to improve the company’s cell phone service in the area. Five T-Mobile employees and consultants said the tower would have no effect on neighbors’ health or property values.

The town board will decide the matter at a later date.

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