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Greenburgh to Hire Special Counsel for NextG Plans

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The Greenburgh Town Board has decided to hire an outside attorney with telecommunications expertise to advise it on its legal rights regarding a proposal by an infrastructure provider to install 20 cell antennas throughout the town.

During a work session with the Conservation Advisory Council Thursday night that dragged on past 11 p.m., board members said they weren't concerned about facing any potential litigation from NextG Networks for delaying action on the controversial plan for at least another two months.

"I don't consider it a delay. It's just us doing our normal due diligence," said Council member Francis Sheehan. "There are many legal questions that we need answers to."

NextG's primary customer for the project, which was first proposed more than two years ago, is MetroPCS. NextG currently provides service for MetroPCS on 38 antennas in White Plains, New Rochelle and Rye.

However, Sheehan questioned whether NextG had a deal with MetroPCS since he said it has not been consistent with its facts.

"They misrepresented themselves before the ARB (Antenna Review Board) that they couldn't go on state right-of-ways," Sheehan said. "Do they really have a client? I haven't seen a contract with MetroPCS."

Town Attorney Tim Lewis said NextG tried to avoid appearing before the ARB early in the process by offering Greenburgh $500 for each of the 20 poles it would attach double width boxes to, plus 5 percent of gross revenue earned annually---a gesture the town turned down.

Calls to NextG officials seeking comment were not returned.

Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner said the town board had every right to ensure it had exhausted all its options before casting a vote on application that could set a precedent.

"What we do on this application, it could have horrific impact 10 or 20 years from now," Feiner said. "We owe it to residents to be as thorough on this as if it were a major development. It's important for all of us that we feel we did our homework. Right now I don't feel confident that I have done everything humanely possible."

The town board will likely officially vote to hire legal counsel at a special meeting slated for Tuesday morning, starting at 9:30 at Town Hall.

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