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Cell Tower Up for Discussion Thursday

The township committee may introduce ordinance for the cell tower as early as Thursday's meeting.

The proposed cell tower at Esternay Field is up for discussion at the Chatham Township Committee meeting Thursday.

Residents have voiced strong opposition to the temporary cell tower, which, if approved, will be installed in Esternay Field where a children's playground is currently located.

The Chatham Township Committee approved a public bid for the tower at their Sept. 27 meeting by a vote of 3-1.

The tower was proposed by T-Mobile, whose experts told the township that an area of about 1.3 miles in eastern Chatham Township and New Providence would lose service if the tower was not installed.

T-Mobile usually puts its cell towers on top of PSE&G towers. During PSE&G's North Central Reliability Project, they have to remove their towers and find alternative locations. Two such locations currently exist in Chatham Township, one at Colony Pool and one at the Chatham Township Municipal Building.

which cellular companies can bid on, that will ensure the tower is taken down within three years.

Stacey Ewald, who sent a Letter to the Editor about the tower, asked how the township could guarantee the tower would indeed be temporary.

"That property is [in the township's] open space inventory," Woodward said. "The tower can never become permanent."

The contract is for two years, with a possible one-year extension by permission of the committee. Any longer, Woodward said, and the state would get involved. "It would be a virtually impossibly project," he said.

Also, Woodward specified that the cell company must take down the playground at the start of the contract and put a new playground in once the tower comes down.

While T-Mobile is the only company that has expressed an interest, Woodward said, "after all these things were put in, they may not want it anymore."

Sewer Charges

The committee will also vote on two ordinances establishing service charges for the township's two water pollution control (WPC) systems, both up for second hearing.

Fees two systems, known as WPC1 and WPC2, will be raised for the first time in several years effective Jan. 1, if the ordinances pass.

According to the ordinances, the fees for WPC1 will be $700 for a single-family dwelling without an accessory office use, $1,400 with an accessory office use, $31 for a church and $6.35 per 100 ft. cubed of water with a minimum $700 charge annually.

For WPC2, which services most of the condominiums in town, the fee will be $570 annually for a manor house or townhouse, effective Jan. 1.

The Chatham Township Committee meets at the Chatham Township Municipal Building at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. A full copy of the agenda can be found in the Photos & Documents section of this article.

Biff November 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The Township’s T-Mobil advocacy team of Kathy Abbott, Bailey Brower and Nicole Hagner will again be diligently working hard tonight on behalf of T-Mobile, while simultaneously working against Township residents, especially families and children who enjoy the Esternay playground that will be ripped down , and those who prefer green space to 150 foot cell towers. We all owe a huge thank you to Laura Nonnenmacher for being the lone voice, putting families, children and our green space ahead of $’s. Laura also demonstrated her outstanding leadership, caring and work ethic during the aftermath of Sandy and the nor’easter, being the only Township Committee member who was doing all that they could to help, communicate and lead the Township through this most challenging time. While the Borough’s Committee far outshined the efforts of the Township’s Committee in virtually all regards, Laura was the lone beaming bright spot in an otherwise disappointing local Township government effort. Thank you Laura Nonnenmacher, we are so very fortunate to have you representing the families and all residents of Chatham Township!
Biff November 15, 2012 at 05:58 PM
The Township’s T-Mobil advocacy team of Kathy Abbott, Bailey Brower and Nicole Hagner will again be diligently working hard tonight on behalf of T-Mobile, while simultaneously working against Township residents, especially families and children who enjoy the Esternay playground that will be ripped down , and those who prefer green space to 150 foot cell towers. We all owe a huge thank you to Laura Nonnenmacher for being the lone voice, putting families, children and our green space ahead of $’s. Laura also demonstrated her outstanding leadership, caring and work ethic during the aftermath of Sandy and the nor’easter, being the only Township Committee member who was doing all that they could to help, communicate and lead the Township through this most challenging time. While the Borough’s Committee far outshined the efforts of the Township’s Committee in virtually all regards, Laura was the lone beaming bright spot in an otherwise disappointing local Township government effort. Thank you Laura Nonnenmacher, we are so very fortunate to have you representing the families and all residents of Chatham Township!
Jill Perrin November 15, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I READ THIS FROM A SEPT 14 PATCH ARTICLE: "Chatham Township Attorney said he believes T-Mobile has found an alternative site for their temporary cell tower. "They're looking at upper Esternay Field, by the power lines," Woodward said. "There's a small playground up there. It's graded and flat, it's a good location for this tower." I WOULD HOPE ANY OF US WOULD RE-WRITE THIS COMMENT AS: "There's a small playground up there. It's graded and flat, it's a good location for A PLAYGROUND." WHY ARE WE EVEN ENTERTAINING PUTTING UP A CELL TOWER THERE?

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