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Aug 13

Letter to the Editor: The Leader, August 13, 2014

Would you write a blank check for 25 years?

 

The Trustees of Matinecock Village are currently considering an agreement that would give Crown Castle the right to install wireless technologies on potentially all utility poles in Matinecock for a period of up to 25 years, with little to no accountability to the Village for their installation and monitoring. This is unwise. But this scenario will happen if the Trustees sign the Crown Castle contract without first creating a Telecommunications Ordinance for Matinecock.

 

Without an ordinance, Matinecock residents will have no clear way to hold Crown Castle accountable for issues such as determining where antennas are best placed in the community, how tall they should be, whether they are in accordance with Matinecock’s aesthetic requirements, how far away from our homes they ought to be placed, and how they should be monitored for safety.

 

With an ordinance, residents will know if WiFi, WiMAX, or the controversial Smart Grid system is being added to the Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) boxes, and when. Designated setbacks will ensure that these wireless technologies won’t be installed within feet of a resident’s bedroom, nor will they be spread needlessly throughout our residential community. Safety requirements will hold Crown Castle accountable for proper monitoring of the DAS, giving residents peace of mind during hurricane season, when utility poles are vulnerable to toppling over in strong winds.

 

An ordinance is a critical means for residents to exercise their power to ensure that the best interests of the community are protected and maintained.  Why would we casually give away our right to hold Crown Castle, or any other telecom company, accountable, by signing a contract in the absence of a Telecom Ordinance?

 

Concerned residents (MRIT) are asking the Village Trustees not to rush into a long-term contract with Crown Castle without first seeking an ordinance and providing other critical information, such as a needs assessment and a SEQR (environmental review), since the installations would abut the Planting Fields Arboretum and the Hope Goddard Iselin Sanctuary (see www.antennasinquestion.com).

 

Now is the time to act. Come to the next scheduled public hearing on this issue on  Tuesday, August 19th, Portledge School’s Gilmour Library, 355 Duck Pond Road in Locust Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Voice your opinions, ask questions, learn about the issue, and respond to the Trustee’s consideration of MRIT’s requests at the next meeting. Your presence is important.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Sincerely,

Matinecock Residents for Intelligent Telecommunications

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