Verizon Gets Contract for Proposed Cell Tower Located in Bayonet Farm Landscape
Township Committee votes to approve contract at Thursday meeting.
Verizon has been awarded a contract to operate a proposed cell phone tower in a wooded area next to the township's unspoiled Bayonet Farm, pending Planning Board site plan approval.
The Township Committee approved the Verizon contract at its meeting July 21.
Deputy Mayor Serena DiMaso said that "There was a legal ramification" that prompted the Committee to award the contract Thursday "so we can move forward with it," she said.
"But as with any application, it will have to go to the Planning Board...and people will have an opportunity to comment on the cell tower at that point in time."
The award of contract had not been included in the public agenda distributed prior to the meeting, and no members of the public spoke on the issue when it came up.
The proposed tower would sit on a piece of township property which was sliced off from the Porter Farm when a road was built. The parcel was deeded to the township, and "annexed" to Bayonet Farm, explained Committeeman Larry Fink. On tax maps, its known as Block 11, Lot 76 and is located next to Alcatel-Lucent's blocked-off driveway on American Way.
The 130-foot cell tower would mimic a tree's shape, with imitation branches and bark.
"It will look tree-like," said Committeeman Fink. "If you look carefully, you will see a taller tree. And if you look ever closer you will say, that's not a tree, that's a cell tower. The hope here is that it won't be too intrusive."
Fink said the township proposed the tower because it was approached by carriers seeking to fill a dead zone in that area of town, as well as a it is an opportunity to bring in revenue.
Said DiMaso, "It will bring in $32,000 a year, and a three percent increase a year. Any additional carriers Verizon brings in, we'll get 75% of that rent," she said. The tower could support five carriers.
Committeeman Rocco Pascucci said, "We have a very professional cell tower consultant who so far has crossed every t and dotted every i, and we'll be on top of him to make sure he does it."
The Committee voted 4-0 to approve the contract. Mayor Patrick Impreveduto was absent.