New Shandaken tower plan offered by Verizon officials

Company has several cell sites in town

By Jay Braman Jr.
First, Shandaken couldn’t get a cell tower in town if it tried. Now it appears towers might be popping up in unexpected places. It was announced last week that Verizon has asked for permission to build its own 130-foot tall tower, called a monopole, near the town hall in Allaben.
At this point negotiations are just beginning but Supervisor Peter DiSclafani said that Verizon is offering a flat rate of $1,500 a month to the town.
DiSclafani said that Verizon intends to allow the town highway department, which currently relies on the use of a 70-foot tall tower on the same property, a spot on the tower for its communications, The old tower would be removed, DiSclafani said, and the new tower would be erected elsewhere on the land, probably behind the highway garage.
Asked what happened to the proposed tower for Glenbrook Park, DiSclafani said that construction was in progress, but that Verizon still wanted their own facility.
“They’ve been saying for six months that they don’t feel the Glenbrook tower location is very good,” he said.
Verizon occupies space on the South Mountain Tower in West Shokan in the Town of Olive and on a tower located atop Highmount.
Mariner Tower, the company charged with preparing a cellular coverage plan for Shandaken, has finished a survey of the complex town terrain and concluded that at least three towers are needed to provide signal along the Route 28 corridor and that more would be needed to fill in along the rest of the roadways. And even then, total town coverage appears out of reach.
In a letter to DiSclafani, Mariner Towers’ Chief Development Officer Christ-opher Ciolfi said that this should not be a surprise to anyone and identified the spots that would be best for towers.
Saying the task was “much like building a puzzle that had already been started,” Ciolfi explained that they tested what coverage would be available if all existing towers in town were utilized and that they also added in the projected coverage that the soon to be erected Glenbrook Park Tower would transmit.
The result of the test, Ciolfi states, is that with two other new towers besides the Glenbrook facility, one located on the south side of Route 28 in Big Indian above Morra’s Market and another on the south of Route 28 above the Phoenicia Diner, most of the highway corridor would have coverage. There would be a gap in the coverage though that could be closed with a third new tower near Ernst Road.
Mariner is under contract to have the Glenbrook tower operational by the middle of next month.