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Colonie adopts wireless fees

Magguilli said he has met with the wireless companies several times before the resolutions were passed on Nov. 5.

The resolution that was passed on Thursday, Nov. 19, set in place the new application fees for using or modifying the towers, which includes $6,000 for a new tower; $3,500 for a modification to the existing tower as long as there is no increase in height; $3,500 for addition of an antenna as long as there is no increase in height; and $3,500 for temporary use of the facility for a tower.

If there is an increase in height involved, Magguilli said, the fee jumps back to $6,000 as if it were an application for the construction of a new tower.

"The application fees are supposed to be based on the estimated costs to the town to process the application," he said.

Councilwoman Criscione-Szesnat said she voted down the laws because she did not feel the town gave enough consideration to the wireless companies that provided input at the hearings.

"I recognize the need for the town to raise revenue, but I feel that the industry was bringing up a lot of good points," she said. "If I were drafting the law I would have put those points in."

Criscione-Szesnat said she did not feel the laws were "cohesive enough" and that the town attorney's office did not put in enough of an effort.

Criscione-Szesnat also said that she fears cell phone users in the town will be hit with a hidden fee in their cell phone bills and that wireless companies will be hesitant to do work in the town, which could lead to a decrease in service for cell phone service for town residents, she said.

"I don't think that they really did a good job," she said. "The town attorney's office didn't really give a good day's effort."

Magguilli disagreed.

"She's certainly entitled to her opinion. I disagree with it," he said. "Our job is to do what's in the best interest of the town first and foremost and not in the interest of the wireless companies."

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