Saratoga County

New cell tower site in town of Saratoga well received

The Saratoga National Historical Park is not opposed to the new location proposed for a 190-foot cel

The Saratoga National Historical Park is not opposed to the new location proposed for a 190-foot cell telephone tower near the town of Saratoga’s old landfill on Hayes Road.

An earlier proposal by Independent Towers LLC of Latham for a cell tower near Route 29 in the village of Schuylerville was opposed by National Park Service officials as well as people living in the area. That controversial tower plan has been withdrawn.

Joseph Finan, superintendent of the Saratoga National Historical Park, said the proposed tower on Hayes Road would have a “marginal or minimal” impact on the view shed of this historic part of Saratoga County.

Independent Towers floated a test balloon at 190 feet on Hayes Road on Saturday and Monday so residents and Park Service officials could see what a tower there would look like.

Finan said the Park Service has informed the Saratoga Town Planning Board that the impact of the cell tower could be mitigated by painting it to blend into the hills behind it.

“It didn’t come above the horizon,” Finan said this week.

The earlier cell tower location on Route 29 would have been clearly visible from the Saratoga Monument on Burgoyne Road, nearby Victory Woods and from other “siege field” areas associated with the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, considered the turning point of the Revolutionary War, Finan said.

“You can’t see it from any position on the battlefield [in Stillwater],” Finan said of the Hayes Road location.

The Saratoga Town Planning Board is currently reviewing Independent Towers LLC’s application for the 190-foot tower at the edge of the landfill property. No decision has been made on the application.

The Planning Board was also asked last month to consider a 105-foot-tall cell tower application from Verizon Wireless for a location on the DeRidder property on Walsh Road. At least two neighbors objected to this cell tower location.

The height of the proposed Hayes Road cell tower was increased from 150 feet to 190 feet so it could accommodate Verizon Wireless, according to town officials.

Saratoga town Supervisor Thomas Wood said Wednesday that the proposed cell tower location is on the edge of former landfill property. “It tends to blend in very well,” Wood said.

Wood said no resident has yet objected to the new proposed location. He said the cell tower would be able to accommodate up to five different wireless carriers.

“There is a high need for additional cell coverage [in the Schuylerville and town of Saratoga area],” Wood said. “There are lots and lots of dead zones.” He said the successful location of a cell tower in the town would be “filling a vital need.”

He said the town, which still owns the Hayes Road property, would also be compensated for having the cell tower on its property.

He said while the proposal is under consideration, the town gets $500 per month. If the tower were approved and is built on Hayes Road the town would get $1,200 per month. He said the town would get more than $1,200 on a monthly basis as more wireless carriers are added to the tower.

“All residents would benefit,” Wood said about a cell tower on Hayes Road. He said the money would go into the town’s general fund.

In a related matter, the state Education Department has approved the location of a 100-foot cell tower near the bus garage on the Schuylerville Central School District property off Route 29. The school district does not need local approval for such an application.

Finan said this much shorter tower would have only a “minimal impact” on the historic view sheds in this part of Saratoga County. He said masking this tower, which has not yet been built, to look like an evergreen tree might significantly mitigate its impact on the area.

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