MTA To Dismantle Cell Tower

Cell phone towers are always a hot button issue in residential neighborhoods as many do not want them near their homes in fear of future health issues based on history & studies from all over the world.

So it came as no surprise when some in the Westchester County town of Tarrytown opposed the installation of a 15-story MTA Police Department cell tower near a children’s playground. The agency has announced it will dismantle the tower in the very near future. Here is more via a report by David McKay Wilson of the Rockland/Westchester Journal News:

The 15-story MTA Police Department cell tower, which went up next to a Tarrytown playground for low-income kids in mid-September, will come down.

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan made the announcement Tuesday night, as more than dozen Tarrytown residents planned to testify Wednesday morning at the MTA Board of Directors meeting in Manhattan about the inappropriate erection of the communications monopole in their neighborhood.

The announcement came 33 days after a Tax Watch investigation found that the MTA had erected the 150-foot tower just 30 feet from a playground and less than 100 feet from apartments in the Franklin Courts housing development by the Tarrytown Metro-North station.

The apartments are operated by the Tarrytown Municipal Housing Authority. The MTA is exempt from local zoning, which would had prohibited erecting that tower within 150 feet of a residence or recreation facility.

“The MTA has committed to removing the monopole from the Tarrytown Train Station site and relocating its essential law enforcement communications equipment,” Donovan said.

The MTA has yet to make final the new location for the communications equipment. But it was certain the 150-foot monopole by the playground would be coming down, Donovan said. No date has yet been set to dismantle it.

“We have worked with our partners at the Thruway Authority and the State Police to identify alternate sites, and we are confident we will be able to find one that can be activated by March,” Donovan said. “That means we do not expect to put the Tarrytown Train Station tower into service and will be able to dismantle it.”

Tarrytown residents and officials hailed the MTA’s announcement.

“That’s incredible – on the night before we had so many speakers lined up for the MTA meeting,” said Dan Hanover, a Park Avenue homeowner who spearheaded the campaign. “That’s amazing good news.”

State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, the Senate Democratic leader, thanked the MTA for hearing the voice of Tarrytown’s residents.

“I thank the MTA for listening to my constituents and respecting our concerns,” she said. “And I especially want to applaud this local community which stayed strong, stood up for our local quality of life, and fought to get results.”

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad to see that community outpouring helped get an issue resolved with the MTA. Hopefully the agency can find a location that suits their needs so all sides involved can be satisfied by the end results.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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