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Cell Tower Plan Advancing to Planning Board

Verizon proposed to build a 120-tower in the township's Municipal Complex.

The Washington Township Council voted in favor of moving ahead with plans for a cell phone tower at the during their meeting Monday.

The plan is for Verizon to build a 120-foot monopole tower with external antennas on the north side of the complex. There would also be two sheds and an eight-foot white vinyl fence that would be designed to fit in with the style of the complex.

"They look somewhat Colonial," Council President Richard Hrbek said.

The tower itself would be similar to the one built near the Garden State Parkway, officials said.

Verizon earlier this year.

Catherine Navarro-Steinel, the township's , said she was also looking into having a shared backup generator for the tower and the police department. The township has rented a generator for the department at about $1,500 per month since the department's old generator overheated and after Hurricane Irene.

"We're looking to save money in the long run," Navarro-Steinel said.

With the council's go-ahead, and a recent approval of soil tests by the Department of Environmental Protection, the next step for the tower will be a review by the planning board.

Some residents have , but over the past few months residents attending council meetings have repeatedly asked about how soon the tower will be built.

"I just want to know if it will go up in my lifetime," township resident Raymond Bernroth said at a previous council meeting.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Leggate at JMLeggate@gmail.com, or find us onFacebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Newsflash July 10, 2012 at 01:16 PM
James, just to correct you, residents like myself still oppose the tower but it is going there anyway.
Carey Grant July 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
The Council, Raymond Bernroth, Verizon, Washington Township and the entire Planning Board can take this monopole cell phone tower in the "colonial style" and shove it! This was supposed to go up by the Washington Township Tennis and Fitness Club but there were too many Well to do people who lived near that location so our esteemed mayor and council made sure that they placed it near the people who can't afford to hire lawyers to fight them. Class warfare exists in this town and the rich are winning! First they put the cell phone tower near you, next they will be annexing your property becasue they need it for a sports field! This town sucks eggs! Too bad we can't have a revolution in a town. The dicator and her henchmen have to go! VIVA la revolucion!
James Leggate July 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
You can still ask questions and officially share your opinion about the project when the planning board hears the application, "Newsflash."
Carey Grant July 10, 2012 at 02:04 PM
It's a waste of time James. The Planning Board is going to approve anything put before it..unless you're a resident trying to improve your home. Then they will torture you with variences and applications and letter writing to neighbors letting them know that you plan to do renovations. All the things that the Township waived for Verizon. They just rolled out the red carpet. Where are the varieances? Where are the comeptive bids? Where are the letters to the neighbors informing them that there will be a building that is non-conforming in their immediate area and that they should come to the planning board meeting to air their grievances? Won't happen. Bulldozers are coming.
Newsflash July 10, 2012 at 02:14 PM
James, I am there every meeting and it falls on deaf ears. The same people who are up in arms about the gas station and CVS don't give a second of thought to us living next door to the cell tower, but they come out and repeatedly ask when it is going to be erected. One of these days, the owners of the property on Pascack & Washington are going to erect a low income project. Think a store is so bad now!
Newsflash July 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Carey Grant (I love your name) you are probably right but i will go to the meeting. I don't like the way they run the planning board meetings because residents don't get a chance to speak until after all the engineers, etc. bore everyone to death. The issues we face though is whether or not the plan violates any of the land use guidelines. Had the cell tower remained on the property line to the left (facing townhall), we would have plenty to scream about. On the other side, I am not sure, but I don't think the fall zone encroaches on any residential property. It could take down the town hall, police department and DMF!
Grace Hogan July 10, 2012 at 07:31 PM
With all due respect to Newsflash and Carey Grant, a cell tower can generate revenue which benefits the greater public good. The cell tower in Hillsdale generates $200K annually. Such revenue makes a difference to tax payers and residents. Listening to expert witnesses at Planning Board meetings may be boring, but essential to the public record. Review the documents and reports from the applicant and Township experts on file with the Planning Board. For Mr. Grant's information, variances are not issued by the Planning Board; variance approval comes from the Zoning Board. Letters are sent to property owners within 200 feet of the proposed project. Newsflash & Carey Grant have the right to cross examine the expert witnesses presented by the applicant and Township during the public portion of the Board meetings. Win or lose, public opposition to the public is essential to the public record. the cost of an appeal is beyond the means of your average property owner.. It could cost $100K by the time the appeals process is exhausted. Perhaps their discontent with the body elect and the appointed officials will inspire Newsflash and Carey Grant to become independent candidates in next year's mayoral and council election. .Since Newsflash's home is nearby the proposed site, consider filing a tax appeal with the county's Board of Taxation by 04/01/2013 to lower the assessed value of her property.
Newsflash July 10, 2012 at 08:09 PM
With due respect to Grace, we are well aware of the possible revenue. The winning bid for Verizon is $52,876.00 annually, however, the area in which the cell tower is being proposed is an environmental hazard. The underground wells are contaminated and we currently have a salt shed which is definitely a concern for the environment. Are you aware of how much clean ups cost, when all is said and done, what will the profit be. The town currently owns other property more suitable for the cell tower but as previously stated the residents surrounding those areas are far more affluent. Just a point of interest, we never received any notices and were told that municipal property is not subject to the same laws as the individual residents are. In regard to our taxes, I have filed for a tax appeal and will again after the cell tower is built. Every meeting people speak about the way the town looks, wait until the front of our municipal building has generators and chain link fences around it. They have stated it will look like the cell tower on the Parkway. After it is too late, people will come to the meeting and say "how did we let this happen".
Grace Hogan July 10, 2012 at 09:02 PM
If contamination cleanup has yet to happen, how could the proposed cell tower be installed? The environmental impact of the project is something Newsflash needs to publicize in the local press and document in a letter to the Planning Board Chairman. What is the DEP's position on the contaminated site and the proposed project? Projecting the estimate profit is dependent on the cost of remediation. If it's $100K, any revenue collected after two years could be money in the bank. Good luck to Newsflash on the tax appeal.
Jeffrey Tammen July 10, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Carey you are correct , we need a mayor and council that are here for every one not the select few.the people on patch should get together and put a democrat in or a independent in. I'm so tired of the excuses.we deserve better
Kelly Van Rijn July 11, 2012 at 01:57 AM
What profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?
Newsflash July 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Jeffrey, the last thing this town or country is another democrat. Isn't the country in enough of a mess already. The issue with a cell tower was created under the administration of Bill Clinton when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. This, in essence, stripped the States and local governments of their power to consider the potential adverse affects of a cell tower in a neighborhood. So it is not entirely on their shoulders and if the truth is known the current council has kept our taxes in check. They have rejected the idea of bonding millions on the Memorial Field so let's give them some credit. I am neither a democrat or republican but a conversative. I strongly believe in the democratic way and hope we can take back of government in November!
Carey Grant July 12, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Lets shut the Library down if we need to save money. There's a waste of money. The place is never open and occupys prime land in town. Put the tower there!
Jeffrey Tammen July 14, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Hey news flash Janet has been on town council for over 20 yrs and is now mayor ,when should I expect this change time a wasting and I'm getting old and gray waiting for it. The current governing body isn't doing it just look around at our town it's run down and not so inviting.

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