Town of Hartford Planning Board Meeting
September 23, 2014
Gary Burch, Vice Chairman
Michael Swezey, Chairman
Chris DeBolt, Clerk/Alternate
Nancy Piller, Alternate
Matt Fuller, Attorney for the Town
Mr. Guzzo, Hudson Valley Wireless
Members of the Public
Members Absent: None
Chairman Swezey opened the meeting at 7:01p.m.
A motion was made by Combs, seconded by Moore to approve the minutes of August 26, 2014 meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Hudson Valley Wireless: Site Plan Approval (Project #14-07)
Mr. Guzzo presented additional information to the board specifically regarding the proposed easement to provide access to the site and discussed various aspects of the project with the board. Specific attention was paid to emergency access to the site during construction and once the tower is completed and in operation. A letter was presented by Mr. Brian Jones, Chief of the Hartford Volunteer Fire Company requesting that the access road to the proposed tower be of adequate dimensions to facilitate access by emergency vehicles in the case of an emergency at the site. Mr. Guzzo and the board discussed various ways in which that might be accomplished given the challenging topography of the site. After considerable debate, Mr. Guzzo raised the point that all construction and maintenance work on the tower itself is carried out by certified climbers, and as part of their standard operating procedures, a team of climbers is always present, and they possess the training and skills to remove themselves or a teammate from the tower should there be an accident requiring removal. Mr. Guzzo also stated that most telecommunication towers are located in fairly remote areas and that accessing these sites with a ladder truck to carry out a rescue of a worker stranded on the tower is unfeasible in almost all cases. That is why the certified climbers are trained to accomplish this without the assistance of local emergency crews. Following this discussion, the board stated they were comfortable with Mr. Guzzo’s answers regarding emergency access to the proposed site.
At 7:20p.m., a motion was made by Burch, seconded by Oreschnick to open the public hearing on the Site Plan Application of Hudson Valley Wireless (Project #14-07). The motion passed by unanimous roll call vote.
Mr. Scott White of Swamp Lane spoke in favor of the project and said that his business is anxiously awaiting for this tower to come on line so that he can start his business.
Ms. Theresa Straight of Pope Hill Road also spoke in favor of the project.
Mr. Gary Ross of Coach Road asked if there was any State or Federal monies available to help people sign up for the service once the tower is completed. Mr. Guzzo said that part of the grant program through which the proposed tower is funded requires that Hudson Valley Wireless provide free installation for customers of this tower.
Mr. Bob Dillon of Gilchrest Hill Road also spoke in favor of the project and stressed the importance of increasing broadband availability to the residents of the area for economic development purposes.
Code enforcement officer Mark Miller asked whether or not additional Planning Board approval will be needed if and when additional service providers request to co-locate on this tower once constructed.
Following these comments by the public, a motion was made at 7:40p.m. by Combs, seconded by Oreschnick to close the public hearing. The motion passed by unanimous roll call vote.
Upon conclusion of the public hearing, the board examined Part I of the EAF submitted by the applicants. The board then proceeded to complete part II of the full EAF with the assistance of the board’s attorney. After completing part II of the EAF and giving each consideration a hard look, a motion was made by Oreschnick and seconded by Combs to make a determination of significance and issue a negative declaration regarding the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project pursuant to SEQR. The motion passed by unanimous roll call vote.
Following additional discussion of the board, a motion was made by Moore, seconded by Combs to deem the application complete, and to approve the application with the following conditions:
- The applicant shall submit proof of renewal of easement agreement at least 90 days prior to the expiration of each 5 year term. If a new access point is to be utilized, said access shall be subject to Site Plan Approval by the Planning Board.
- A comprehensive, consolidated map depicting both the easement and the entire proposed construction area including the final dimensions and orientation of all structures shall be submitted to the Planning Board.
- A copy of a binding decommissioning plan, in a form meeting the approval of the Town Attorney shall be filed with the Town prior to the start of construction.
This motion was passed by unanimous roll call vote.
A motion was made by Oreschnick, seconded by Combs to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Chris DeBolt, Planning Board Clerk