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State parks department gives OK for cell tower review

The New York State parks department says it has agreed to allow a communications company to look into building a new cell phone tower on state-owned land in North Bellmore.

The state-owned property -- on the corner of South Bismark Avenue and Bellmore Road in North Bellmore, just south of the Southern State Parkway -- is not subject to a new restrictive Town of Hempstead cell tower ordinance.

On Sept. 21, Hempstead Town voted to prohibit wireless companies from installing equipment closer than 1,500 feet to homes, day care centers and houses of worship without extensive and costly proof of need.

The parks department notified Town of Hempstead officials about Crown Communications’ proposal to use the land in July, said Dan Keefe, a parks department spokesman. The Canonsburg, Pa.-based company is contracted by New York State to erect communications towers.

Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and State Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo (R-Merrick) oppose the installation of a cell tower at the location.

Murray wrote a letter on Aug. 16 to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation demanding that the agency inform residents about the site selection process “and detail all pertinent data that supports the purported need for this tower. In addition, neighbors deserve to know whether other locations that would have less impact on local homes have been considered."

Murray also distributed a letter to Bellmore residents notifying them of the parks department's actions.

Keefe said the agency will hold a public information meeting before Thanksgiving.

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