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Proposed cell tower to benefit Eldred Township residents and Kunkletown Vol. Fire Company

Published March 24. 2010 05:00PM

Gary Hoffman, director of Monroe County Control Center and a resident of Kunkletown, addressed the Eldred Township board of supervisors in regards to a proposed construction of a cell tower located along Tanzosh Trail.

Leon Frable, Jr., president of the Kunkletown Volunteer Fire Co. (KVF) and Kyle Frable, fire chief and Lou Salerno of KVF also attended.

Currently the Kunkletown Vol. Fire Co. has a 60-foot tower with antenna on this site where they also placed a military type shelter it acquired for storage of equipment and the township has a 20-foot antenna on it.

Verizon is proposing to erect a monopole of about 159 feet to the top of a lightening rod.

It has been suggested that the fire company and township relocate their antennas on the Verizon tower.

"That would take our coverage to 135 feet and give us greater coverage," Hoffman said.

The fire company would keep the building and the equipment stored in it but eventually its tower would be removed.

Township solicitor, Michael Kaspszyk said that there was a two-year extension given to Verizon Wireless on Oct. 15, 2008 and they have until Oct. 15, 2010 to construct the tower or to get another extension.

It was pointed out that a new cell tower would help provide residents and visitors of Eldred Township with better wireless communications coverage

According to Eldred Township's supervisor and secretary, Sharon Solt, the township is familiar with the stipulations of the original approvals that the township, the local fire company or other emergency service agency's "shall be permitted perpetual access to the monopole and site." Both the township and the fire company encourage and support the colocation concept in these type situations.

The township and fire company agrees to supply two brand new antennas (DB 408 UHF) and two new runs of coaxial cable. It was suggest that since none of this is currently "budgeted" for either of their 2010 operating budgets, the township and fire company would request that both antennas and transmission lines be installed by Verizon's tower riggers at the time of construction. This would allow both radio systems to continue to operate until a "cutover" is scheduled.

The township and the fire company would request installation at the 133-foot level in order to provide optimum radio coverage to both. Both agreed that the township and fire company's respective radio equipment, "repeaters", will remain inside their current equipment shelter. The equipment shelter will be accessible either through a mutually utilized gate or separate access point.

Upon the completion of the cutover to the new antenna systems Verizon will, in a non-destructive manner, dismantle the existing lattice tower and turn it over to the current owner (Kunkletown Fire Company).

A question arose concerning the level of assurance Verizon would provide so that if they decide they don't require the tower any longer, the fire company and township wouldn't have to worry about being notified that the tower is being dismantled suddenly. The agreement between Verizon and the landowner with redaction of any dollar amounts, interest in any "Notice of Termination" clauses, and what that notification period is should be available to either party.

Both the township and the fire company agree that any conditions or agreed to conditions should be memorialized in writing (an agreement) between Verizon and the boards to protect all interests, especially for those in future years.

Both the township and the fire company are encouraged by the partnership offered to enhance public safety communications by Verizon and indicated an honest desire to move forward with the concept since it is a win-win for all parties concerned.

KVF President Leon Frable mentioned that the company's 6 x 6 truck is now in service. KVF bought two new Rhino ATV's for brush fires and/or medical emergencies in the wooded areas, and they are continuing forward with their building plans for a 4-bay storage garage. He added that they have received $2,000 from the West End Rotary to be used toward the purchase of a digital event sign.

Mr. Frable also commended the road crew for the good work they do in keeping Eldred Township's roads in top shape.

Gary Hoffman advised the board that he will be submitting a revised Emergency Management Plan to the township to reflect the newly elected supervisors' information.

In other business, the board approved an extension until May 7, 2010 for the Vernon Frable subdivision.

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