BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Despite one vote against, Bridgewater Township Council approved a resolution recognizing an agreement for Verizon Wireless to co-locate on a cell tower being built by Gaelic Communications, and first commissioned by T-Mobile.
The tower being used is the one set to be built at the Bridgewater Township Library following a lengthy litigation process after T-Mobile originally wanted to build a tower at the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire House. The zoning board denied the application, and T-Mobile sued the township.
The township later offered the library property for the tower instead of the fire house.
Township attorney William Savo said the tower can have other carriers on it, and Gaelic is contracting for Verizon to co-locate on the tower.
“The company is getting ready to construct the tower, and right now they are negotiating to have other carriers on it,” he said.
According to the resolution, Verizon is requesting the township to recognize it as a sub-tenant on the tower, and agrees that it will be obligated to make any payments required by the prime lease, Gaelic.
But councilman Filipe Pedroso, who has opposed the town and its proposed 150-foot height, said he was not necessarily in favor of allowing another carrier if they had not come before the council.
“Verizon hasn’t shown us any documentation about their need to be there,” he said.
Savo said, according to the law, they don’t have to.
“Anyone can go on the tower as long as they don’t change its size,” he said. “Part of our contract with Gaelic is that they can have anyone co-locate on it.”
Pedroso said he understands the law, but there is currently no tower to locate on.
“I get the issue of co-locating, but I don’t know how the law would apply when the tower isn’t built,” he said.
The other three council members present at the meeting (council president Matthew Moench was absent) voted in favor of the resolution, but Pedroso said he has consistently voted no on issues concerning this cell tower, and he would continue to do so this time.
“The bottom line is that I felt strongly then, and I feel strongly now, that a height of 150 feet is excessive,” he said. “T-Mobile came before us, and they showed proof they need the tower, and I don’t know what Verizon’s needs are since they are not coming before us.”
“The tower is excessive in height, and there hasn’t been any documentation that Verizon needs this height,” he added. “I understand this is under the contract, but I think it’s not right, and I think it will be very high in that area and impact the neighborhood.”