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Board approves Norway cell tower permit
PROPOSAL — Blaine Hopkins, a representative of Global Tower Partners, which claims to be the largest privately-owned tower operator in the U.S. and the fourth largest independent operator, presents the site plan review for a 190-foot telecommunications tower at 209 Frost Hill Road before the Norway Planning Board during a public hearing last Thursday.
NORWAY — A site plan and building permit to construct a 190-foot cell tower on Frost Hill was unanimously approved by the planning board last Thursday.
Following a 20-minute public hearing, Global Tower Partners of Boca Raton, FL and co-applicant Northeast Wireless Networks of Falmouth were given the thumbs up to construct a tower at 209 Frost Hill Road on land owned by Roberta Wilner.
Blaine Hopkins, representing GTP, presented the board with a site plan review.
Planning board members agreed that GTP met all applicable performance standards, from the preservation of environmental and historic resources, to stormwater management and providing adequate access for emergency vehicles.
The self-supporting lattice-style tower will be built 975 feet above sea level and located up a gravel driveway on a 10.75-acre parcel of land, Hopkins said. It will be located in a 5,625-square-foot area protected by an 8-foot-tall chain-link fence.
According to Hopkins, the cell tower will provide space for up to five service providers. He explained GTP has master lease agreements with every wireless company in the industry.
"If a company, let's say Verizon, wanted to go on this tower, all they have to do is call our office," he said.
The tower will be the first owned by GTP on Frost Hill and be one of three in the area, Hopkins said. Northeast Wireless Networks, which provides service to AT&T customers, would be the first tenant to install telecommunications equipment on the tower.
Hopkins said GTP's application meets all nine criteria of the required National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) report, such that the tower is not located in a designated wildlife preserve, nor does it impact any historical structures and so forth.
No one spoke in opposition of the proposal. Only one resident attended the hearing, asking questions, including whether the tower would interfere with other nearby communications and the range of emissions given off by radio frequencies.
"The effective radiative power from these tower sites are controlled by the FCC [Federal Communications Commission]," explained Hopkins.
"There are limits as to how much power can be radiated from a tower," he said.
"Our power levels are far less than what the municipality uses," he said, explaining there would be minimal emissions and that the tower would not interfere with other frequencies. "The total wattage from one carrier would probably be about 1,200 watts."
"There will be no interference from this at all," he said.
Because the tower is under 200 feet tall, it will not have to be lit, Hopkins explained.
GTP has also allowed space at the top of the tower for the fire department to place an emergency antenna and repeater at no cost, as requested by Fire Chief Dennis Yates, he said. According to reports, it would also supplement the repeater located on Streaked Mountain in Buckfield.
Hopkins said, in addition to space for five service providers, the tower will provide a 4G network. "Which means if you have a smartphone [or laptop] you can connect directly to the Internet," he said.
"The speed is extremely fast."
Construction of the tower will begin the first week of February and take about six weeks to complete, Hopkins said.