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East Quogue Residents Continue to Question Tower, Will Attend Fire District Meeting

Civic members say they plan to attend the fire district meeting at 7:30 p.m. to get answers.

Members of the the East Quogue Civic Association say they are planning to attend the East Quogue Fire District meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the East Quogue Firehouse on Montauk Highway to get answers to questions they have about a controversial cell tower application.

The decision to make a showing at Tuesday night's meeting comes after a Saturday morning civic association meeting where the fire district's proposal to construct the communications and cellphone tower behind the main firehouse on Montauk Highway took center stage.

Dozens of citizens jammed into a small room at the , mostly there to raise objections to the proposed 100-foot tower, which is proposed to carry a T-Mobile antenna.

If approved, the East Quogue fire district will stand to gain $2,000 a month in rent from the cell carrier for at least five years with financial negotiations continuing after, likely increasing revenue from the lease.

Fire officials say they need an upgrade on antenna communications equipment, from what is currently low-frequency transmissions to high band frequencies. Erecting the tower, the fire district argues, would solve this problem.

Concerns voiced by residents about the proposed structure alternated between worries about exposure to radiation and microwave emissions to a certainty that the tower will create a visual blight in the center of town. More than one resident characterized the proposed tower as a "monstrosity."

Civic association acting President Al Algieri said that the proposed communications tower was once again on the agenda due to a barrage of continuing questions he's received from East Quogue residents wondering about the status of the plan.

Following two public hearings in front of Southampton Town's Planning Board in January and February of this year, the , giving the East Quogue Fire District and T-Mobile one year to submit a full application for the project if both parties choose to move forward.

The frustration for many residents, Algieri said, is that there have been no answers about in what direction, if any, the plan is moving. The next step, a final application to the planning board, has not yet happened, he said.

"We're asking [the East Quogue fire district] hey, what's happening with this tower?" said Algieri. "So far they have no answers for us."

Algieri said an alternative to the plan would include "piggybacking" a communications antenna onto the existing 152-foot Cablevision-operated tower on Central Boulevard in East Quogue. Resident Bob Kandell said it was unclear why the fire district has not pursued this idea when there is clearly so much local opposition to the proposal.

Carol Combes May 02, 2012 at 01:11 PM
How long does it take for a comment to appear? Carol Combes
Erica Jackson (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Carol, it should appear almost immediately.

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