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Cell Tower Proposed for Millwood Property

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - Another day, another tower for New Castle residents. In the middle of protesting the installation of three, 120-foot microwave towers in the area, a separate 130-foot cell phone tower has been proposed for Millwood's Amsterdam property.

Manny Vicente, the president of Homeland Towers, brought the proposal before the New Castle Town Board on Tuesday night, citing the need for more infrastructure to keep up with the growing demand.

“We don’t come to communities to cause problems," said Vicente. "There’s a legitimate need here.”

Before settling on the Amsterdam property as the tower's destination, Vicente said the company looked at 37 different properties, including every non-residential area.

Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter said the town is "between a rock and a hard place" with the proposal. While she agrees the demand for the tower exists, she acknowledged the difficulties in finding an ideal spot for the tower.

"It’s not a question of making people happy," said Carpenter. "It’s is it more apt to gain approval?”

Vicente said the 4,000-square foot tower is not a short-term solution and would anticipate future demand as well as matching current needs. He also said the tower would make enhancements for public safety communication a priority.

“We feel very strongly if we’re putting out a piece of infrastructure, one of the goals should be to improve public safety,” said Vicente.

According the Vicente, the only similarity between his company's tower and the proposed DOT towers is the height. Vicente said there are no health risks involved as the tower would use non-ionizing radio waves instead of microwaves.

Vicente said AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile and Metro PCS are all in support of building the new tower, with the only non-firm confirmation coming from Verizon.

Homeland Towers is still far off from breaking any ground, however, as the viability of the property still needs to investigated. Vicente said issues could arise from wetlands on the Amsterdam property. The tower would also need to gain approval from the planning board.

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