Proposed Cell Tower in North Tonawanda Debated

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

A proposed cell tower in North Tonawanda is being met with mixed reviews. A private company wants to built the structure at 34 Ward Road, which is right next to Superior Lubricants.

City Building Inspector Cosimo Capozzi says, if approved, the tower would be 160 feet high and be built on a 40 by 40-foot piece of land. Capozzi says he first was contact a year ago by a lawyer representing Upstate Tower Co, LLC to construct it.

“Our first priority has always been to have it on City property. The other comment I had was that it is so close to a lot of residents, my question them is, you need to justify why this is the one and only location,” said Capozzi.

Capozzi he would like to see the tower moved 40 feet back to 172 Ward but it is still too close to residents.

He says he consulted with City Attorney and City Engineer Dale Marshall to come up with different options. But the company only wants to build it on Ward Road.

“They are pushing for this particular site and they need to document and prove with evidence why this is the only site they can have,” said Capozzi.

Currently three other towers are within a 1.5-mile radius of the site and adding another would bring much needed revenue into the City.

But if it should fall, he says residents will be the ones impacted.

“You have a 160-foot tower and if it falls over it is going to be on top of our neighbors. They came back with the top area will carefully fall on our 40 by 40-foot spot, I am not an engineer but common sense says this does not sound right,” said Capozzi.

An addition to safety issues, officials says more public policy formats need to be followed.

“They have never applied for a special use permit to the council, we have yet to send notices to everyone within 1500 feet and at some point, we have to have a public hearing,” said Capozzi.

Capozzi is also suggesting the City get a 3rd party expert to look more into the matter.

“I know what I don’t know and I do not know if those documents justify that particular location and that particular height. So, we do need a 3rd party,” said Capozzi

No decisions were made at the Common Council Workshop but for Capozzi, Ward Road is not right location for this project.

“It is not where we want it, it affects way too many neighbors, it is too close to Gratwick. It is much too close to all the infrastructure at 34 Ward, with all the tanks and everything else there,” said Capozzi.

 

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