Council is considering revamp of tower rules

Ordinance governing placement of cell phone towers to be reviewedCorrespondent

By paul cash

Council is considering
revamp of tower rules
Ordinance governing placement of cell phone towers to be reviewed

LITTLE SILVER — Any future cell phone towers are "far down the road," according to Borough Councilman James Berube. Despite the distance, the council is currently looking into safety and technical aspects of the towers and where they might be placed in the borough.

A planned discussion on amending the borough’s land use ordinances regarding the placement of cell towers was on the agenda at a council meeting earlier this month, but was tabled on the advice of Borough Attorney John Bennett.

The attorney said that because the council had said at a previous workshop meeting that no changes to the land use ordinance to accommodate cell towers would be acted upon, the issue should be tabled. He said that in order for people interested in the issue to have a fair chance to comment, the council should provide notice of the discussion before taking up the issue.

Notice that the discussion on the location of cell towers will be placed in the borough’s November newsletter.

Under the existing borough ordinances regarding cell towers, the structures are restricted to borough-owned property. Also, they cannot exceed 150 feet in height, and must comply with Federal Communication Commission standards on radiation emissions.

Borough officials created the ordinance to comply with a ruling of the state Supreme Court that found that cell towers qualified as "inherently beneficial uses" under state land use laws. As such, towns cannot prevent the construction of towers, but they can regulate their placement.

The council expects to discuss any changes to its ordinance governing the placement of cell towers at its Dec. 2 meeting.

In other business, salaries for several borough positions were changed. The borough’s deputy administrator received a $2,000 increase to $17,525.

The borough also added Shari Phillips, effective Aug. 19, as deputy tax collector and bookkeeper clerk at $15,000 for each.

Also, the borough is continuing its efforts to purchase two external defibrillators. Originally, the council tried to buy the defibrillators from Dixiemed West in Gardnerville, Nev., which offered to sell the devices for $4,400. But the company failed to return subsequent phone calls from Borough Administrator Mike Biehl to complete the purchase.

The borough is now trying to buy the defibrillators from Medtronic Physio-Control Corp., Redmond, Wash., for $5,200.