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Public hearing put on pause for cell tower permit in Town of Chenango

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TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) -- The public hearing for the cell phone tower proposal will be postponed as the town zoning board addresses conflicts of interest regarding attorney representation.

The public hearing set to take place through Zoom Tuesday evening has been postponed until at least June 23. A possible earlier date could be set by the board and residents will be notified.

This comes after an agent for New Cingular Wireless, PCS, LLC, called Airosmith, applied for a permit in March to construct and operate a wireless telecommunications tower at 735 Brotzman Rd.

The law firm representing in this case, Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, says it has represented a number of property owners where the cell tower is proposed to be built many times in the past. The board member say this could create a conflict of interest, so they decided to withhold the public hearing until they can get further clarification with their attorney.

The Town of Chenango Zoning Board Chairman, Jim Brewster, says the board does not have specific concerns yet, since it is still too early in the process for the permit.

"We're evaluating the evidence for the project for both the applicant and the concerned citizens and we go from there," said Brewster. "Everyone will have their say."

Meanwhile, concerned residents along Brotzman Road say they don't want the cell tower put in their backyard for a number of reasons.

"The whole deal with property values… they're going to go down," said Douglas Bernard, who lives on Brotzman Rd. "Who's going to want to buy my house across the road from a cell tower?"

Another family living along the road says it is concerned for health safety and having an eyesore behind the homes.

"We're very concerned for the health of our family, our children, for our property value of our home, resale value," expressed Ronda Swindle.

For more information on the proposed cell tower, go to the Town of Chenango's main website.

Anne Sparaco

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