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Attorney Calls Esternay a 'Good' Site for Cell Tower

The Chatham Township Committee has a few conditions before they will agree to let T-Mobile put a temporary cell tower at Esternay Field.

Attorney said he believes T-Mobile has found an alternative site for their temporary cell tower.

"They're looking at upper , by the power lines," Woodward said. "There's a small playground up there. It's graded and flat, it's a good location for this tower."

T-Mobile, along with AT&T, have cell towers located on top of existing PSE&G utility towers within Chatham Township. During PSE&G's North Central Reliability Project, the mobile companies needed to find alternative temporary cell tower locations so their customers do not experience any loss of service in the area.

Both companies have entered into previous agreements with the township to construct temporary cell towers in town. One, located near , put the gravel lot of the pool off-limits for residents. The lot is often used as for overflow parking at .

The second tower is located next to the .

T-Mobile previously entered into an agreement with , but the exact location was in a conservation easement. , and the Chatham Township Committee decided T-Mobile needed to find a different site.

The tower will be a 150-ft. monopole located in an enclosed area of about 30 ft. by 30 ft., similar to the one at Colony Pool. "They said it's the only way to get the service coverage area they need," Woodward said.

Woodward said T-Mobile will need power for this antenna. "They've already put in an application with JCP&E for a power hook-up" rather than using a 24/7 generator, Woodward said.

The bid speculations allow for one two-year lease with two possible one-year extensions, if necessary, depending on how long the PSE&G Northern Reliability Project goes on.

Based on his conversations with PSE&G, Woodward said, "I think this project will be completed in a year, year and a half."

The bid specifications set the minimum bid for the tower at $3,100 per month, the same as the other two towers, and will have to go to the Planning Board for approval.

Committee Member Bailey Brower, Jr. asked what would happen to the playground at Esternay. Woodward said T-Mobile would take down the playground, store it for the duration of the contract and put it back when the tower came down.

"No, no, that's unacceptable," Brower said. "They have to replace the playground."

Brower said playground equipment can get worn and is often impossible to replace once it comes down.

Committee Members Kathy Abbott and Robert Gallop agreed, with Abbott saying it was "a great idea" by Brower.

Woodward agreed to make the installation of new playground equipment a condition of the project, and the township committee will vote on a resolution approving the project for bidding at their next meeting.

Two River Road residents applauded and thanked the committee for finding an alternative location for the cell tower.

Biff September 25, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Great point Lisa! All, it sounds like the destruction of the Esternay playground, etc. will be again discussed (put to a vote?) this Thursay night (9/27). I'm out of town or I'd go to the Township Committee meeting. It would be great for all concerned residents, especially parents, to reach out to the Township Committee members ahead of the meeting, especially Laura, Kathy and Bob. I'd like to think that Bailey and Nicole will likewise put our children and families ahead of T Mobile and Cell Towers, but I am much less optimistic. For the sake of all the families and children of Chatham Township, thank goodness that Laura, Kathy and Bob are on the Committee!! Please let your voices be heard!
Biff September 26, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Stacey Ewald wrote an excellent, informative letter that Editor Laura Silius kindly posted on "The Patch" today (9/26/12), regarding Chatham Township families/children and playgorunds vs. T Mobile 150 foot cell towers. I encourage all to read it.
Biff September 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM
All concerned Township residents should go to today's "Patch" posting http://chatham.patch.com/articles/over-objections-cell-tower-goes-to-bid and read Laura Silvius' excellent and very timely/real time write-up of last night's Township Committee meeting and the shocking Cell Tower vote result, to read who the winners, losers, heros and villians are (spoiler alert: One may surprise some of you, she did me)
BFF September 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
The previous site would have worked. Why rip up the playground where my little boy plays. And a cell tower right next to the soccer field where my daughter plays soccer? Hidden up in the back was a much better place for the tower. I'm wondering how river road residents feel now afte mucking around. You may think you were helping out the resale value of your own house...but now you're really going to see the tower on Esternay field. Instead of a tower by what is already an existing the PSE&G electric tower ... we'll have a cell phone tower on top of a soccer field clearly visible by everyone.
CB September 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Hey, Chatham folks. This has nothing to do with your cell tower issue (although our community had the same issue a few years back). Did the Chatham Day School complete their renovations and if so, has there been any deterioration in the traffic patterns in your community as a result? Just curious since the same traffic "expert" is testifying in my community and it appears that all of her testimony never indicates that there will be worse traffic conditions following construction. True or not? I appreciate the efforts of any of you who take the time to respond. Thanks!

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