Clifton Park Town Board halts new cell towers

Following a public hearing to impose a moratorium on communication towers and facilities in Clifton Park, Monday, April 28, the Town Board adopted a resolution to set the moratorium for a 60-day period on all new communications facilities.

I think every few years, it is incumbent upon our Town Board to look at the telecommunications law, Supervisor Phil Barrett said.

The adoption of the moratorium does not affect pending applications, only new applications presented to the town, according Barrett.

Resident Frank Berlin questioned whether more than one provider could locate equipment on a single tower.

"Bundling equipment is a good idea," board member Scott Hughes said.

He said he believes the town tries to bundle equipment as much as possible, and he suggested the town consider adopting a law to hold the cell service provider responsible for taking down the equipment if a new method of delivery is available.

Hughes said technology is always changing, and at some point, the cell companies will be providing service through satellites, which will eliminate the need for cell towers. Further, he said, the company should be responsible for removing the equipment.

William Barber, who lives on Blue Spruce Lane, where T-Mobile proposed placing a cell tower on a water tower in the area, said he is concerned with the effects of radiation.

"My safety concern is not about the towers but with the cell phones themselves," said Barber.

Barrett said a moratorium done in 2001 allowed the town to step back and evaluate the town's telecommunications law.

Following the moratorium, the town adopted a local law to requiring a 500-foot space between antennas and homes.

In other business, Board Member Tom Paloucci unveiled the town light bulb conservation program and Web site.

The Web site, which is linked to the town's Web site cliftonpark.org, tracks the results of the town's energy savings initiatives. Specifically, the site tracks the changing of traditional incandescent light bulbs to more eco-friendly compact florescent light bulbs.

"One light bulb can make a difference," Paloucci said while demonstrating the Web site.

Residents are able to register with the Web site and track how much they save in a year by changing from incandescent light bulbs to compact florescent lights. There will also be a running total of how much the town has saved as a whole.""

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