YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Representatives of Homeland Towers returned to the Town Board two weeks ago in their ongoing effort to bolster infrastructures for wireless communications carriers and help tackle the issue of “dead spots” Yorktown residents encounter on a regular basis.
Homeland representatives appeared before the board in March with a proposal to build five new cell towers in the community, identifying four town-owned properties as possible sites: on Granite Springs Road, Quinlan Street, Locke Lane near Turkey Mountain Park and Route 6 in Jefferson Valley.
But the focus of their discussion with board members on Tuesday, Oct. 9, was the parcel at 3101 Quinlan, next to municipal water tanks, where, they said, there exist several light towers for municipal service.
“This is a site that we know is very important for coverage in the area,” said Klaus Wimmer, Homeland’s regional director.
Wimmer said Homeland would like to replace the some 60-foot-high light towers on the property with a 135-foot monopole to support the co-location of the equipment for the four major wireless carriers and relocate the municipal service antennas to the top of the tower “so they would actually be more secure; higher height, better propagation, on a substantial infrastructure.” The project would both create ground space for the carriers, he said, “and avoid proliferation of other towers in the area.”
To Councilwoman Alice Roker’s comment that in the past, the communications carriers would come before the board seeking approval to install towers, Wimmer said, “When a carrier comes to you, they’re concerned about that carrier…whereas when you have a company that specializes in providing infrastructure for co-location, for all carriers, you usually end up with a project that accounts for all the carriers, so you don’t have multiple towers on the same property.”
Manny Vicente, president of Homeland, said Verizon would anchor the site, but both T-Mobile and Sprint are interested, if not actively engaged, in the project. The only other major carrier the company needs to reach out to is AT&T.
As to Town Supervisor Ilan Gilbert’s question of its track record locally, Vicente said Homeland has contracts with Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, Kent, Putnam County and Ridgefield.
Homeland, Vincente said, is also just weeks away from securing a building permit to locate an infrastructure on private property on Dell Avenue, and it has offered the police department free space.
Homeland is seeking an initial lease of 10 years, with the option of nine five-year renewals. Although the company in March was reportedly offering to pay the town $2,000 a month, Gilbert said the fee is still being negotiated.
The board set a public hearing on a lease agreement for Nov. 20. At that time, Homeland is expected to provide a viewshed analysis and a map that would show the proposed tower’s coverage area as well as the sites of all other communications towers in the municipality.