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Hearing Closed on Cell Antennas in Greenburgh

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Greenburgh's consultant told the town board and a sparse crowd at town hall Tuesday night there was justification for 20 locations selected for cell antennas by an infrastructure provider.

Michael Musso of HDR Architecture and Engineering, P.C. said he did raise questions about eight of the 20 antennas but officials from NextG Networks provided legitimate reasons for the wooden utility poles chosen in public right-of-ways.

"We do feel the justification given for the eight nodes are appropriate, reasonable and justified as is," Musso said during the two-hour public hearing.

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

The antennas in Greenburgh are intended to cover areas from the Central Ave. Business District to the Sprain Brook Parkway and a portion of the Saw Mill River Parkway and New York Thruway.

Several speakers, including Edgemont resident Jim Hallowell and Conservation Advisory Council Chairperson Theresa Mae Tori, questioned NextG's locations for the antennas, maintaining other areas of Greenburgh could have been more suitable if NextG wasn't reluctant to spend money.

"I don't think where the applicant thinks they can make the most money should play into the board's decision-making," Tori said.

Peter Heimdahl, senior director of government relations for NextG, said NextG's only business model was to operate as a regulated utility company.

"We can install our own poles. We don't think it's the right thing to do," he said. "We chose first to attach to existing infrastructure."

Before the town board closed the hearing, Supervisor Paul Feiner said he resented remarks from some residents who accused him of prejudging NextG's application.

"When I cast my vote it will be a thoughtful vote. A decision I will make will not be a gut reaction. It will be based on careful analysis," he said. "I have a right to vote on what I think is in the interest of the town and legally defendable."

NextG's request for a special permit for antennas in unincorporated Greenburgh, including several residential areas, is scheduled to be discussed again at the Town Board's March 20 meeting.

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