"This is a positive step for the town and I hope it works well," said Hughes. "If not, we'll have to look at it again."
Communications law passes
The Town Board passed another piece of controversial legislation with a revision of the town's communications towers law. The 1998 law was also modified in 2000, but this iteration places further restrictions on where and how communications companies can erect towers in Clifton Park.
The vote occurred just days before the expiration of a moratorium on cell tower applications set for Sept. 18.
Town officials praise the law as a way to protect the town from overdevelopment as the demand for wireless service rises, and say it is as strong as federal regulations allow.
"We have literally done everything in our power to protect our citizens while adhering to FCC regulations," said Councilman Hughes.
The law now requires new towers to be placed at least 500 feet from residential properties. It also bolsters the application fee to $5,000 for new towers and encourages providers to use collocation, or placing antennas on already existing towers or other structures.
While many residents who have spoken on the law in the past supported it, industry representatives have criticized some provisions as excessively constrictive and even illegal. Town attorneys took an extra week to review the law before Monday's unanimous vote.
According to Barrett, the goal of the law is to strike a compromise between interests. "What we are really trying to do is provide a balance between the Federal Communication Act and the protection it provides to cell-phone providers, the need for service and the residents of Clifton Park," he said.
Preliminary plans for Route 146 Park
The town is on its way to utilizing a 150-acre open space off of Route 146 as a park. An open space subcommittee has been studying options.