COLONIE: High-wattage debate

More than a dozen residents retained attorney Andrew Gilchrist, and dozens more backed his argument, that the test failed to show how the tower would appear with banks of more than 20 lights, each light more than 2 feet in diameter.

Despite the fact that the lights are designed for as little spill-off light as possible, the fact remains that the proposed four, 20-foot wide light banks resting on top of the 90-foot poles, will be seen from throughout Loudonville, lit or not, said Gilchrist, a graduate of Siena himself.

The towers are a quality-of-life issue, he added.

"They will face these light towers and the field every day. They will live this every day, whether the lights are on or not," Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist also raised several issues with the manner in which the college has gone about selling residents on the proposed towers.

For one, the college has said that the lights will only be on for 10 scheduled games of the year. For the first time in the hearings, Siena officials stated that they would like to use the lights for practice any opportunity they could.

Resident Sharon Alley, who has led the charge against the proposal, also pointed out that the college has already put in the four footings to mount the lights. Building Department Director Michael Rosch confirmed that Siena had only been given a building permit for the new field and accessory bleachers, not the footings for the lights.

"We have come to the hearings, listened with opened minds, and we are still adamantly opposed to these towers. We are not against higher education, we are not against Siena, we are not even against athletics," said Sharon Bright Holub, president of the Greater Loudonville Association.

Holub stated that there has not been good dialogue between Siena and its neighbors, and that the proposal is more than a matter of what is permitted by town law; rather, it's a matter of community and the impact four, 90-foot light towers would have on it, she said.

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