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Attorney Calls Esternay a 'Good' Site for Cell Tower

The Chatham Township Committee has a few conditions before they will agree to let T-Mobile put a temporary cell tower at Esternay Field.

Attorney said he believes T-Mobile has found an alternative site for their temporary cell tower.

"They're looking at upper , 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."

T-Mobile, along with AT&T, have cell towers located on top of existing PSE&G utility towers within Chatham Township. During PSE&G's North Central Reliability Project, the mobile companies needed to find alternative temporary cell tower locations so their customers do not experience any loss of service in the area.

Both companies have entered into previous agreements with the township to construct temporary cell towers in town. One, located near , put the gravel lot of the pool off-limits for residents. The lot is often used as for overflow parking at .

The second tower is located next to the .

T-Mobile previously entered into an agreement with , but the exact location was in a conservation easement. , and the Chatham Township Committee decided T-Mobile needed to find a different site.

The tower will be a 150-ft. monopole located in an enclosed area of about 30 ft. by 30 ft., similar to the one at Colony Pool. "They said it's the only way to get the service coverage area they need," Woodward said.

Woodward said T-Mobile will need power for this antenna. "They've already put in an application with JCP&E for a power hook-up" rather than using a 24/7 generator, Woodward said.

The bid speculations allow for one two-year lease with two possible one-year extensions, if necessary, depending on how long the PSE&G Northern Reliability Project goes on.

Based on his conversations with PSE&G, Woodward said, "I think this project will be completed in a year, year and a half."

The bid specifications set the minimum bid for the tower at $3,100 per month, the same as the other two towers, and will have to go to the Planning Board for approval.

Committee Member Bailey Brower, Jr. asked what would happen to the playground at Esternay. Woodward said T-Mobile would take down the playground, store it for the duration of the contract and put it back when the tower came down.

"No, no, that's unacceptable," Brower said. "They have to replace the playground."

Brower said playground equipment can get worn and is often impossible to replace once it comes down.

Committee Members Kathy Abbott and Robert Gallop agreed, with Abbott saying it was "a great idea" by Brower.

Woodward agreed to make the installation of new playground equipment a condition of the project, and the township committee will vote on a resolution approving the project for bidding at their next meeting.

Two River Road residents applauded and thanked the committee for finding an alternative location for the cell tower.

Lisa Cappabianca September 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Will this project leave Upper Esternay field in usable condition?
Duncan Munchkin September 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Oh, let's all bend over backwards and rip up playgrounds so T-Mobile can fill in their spotty service map. What a joke. I was just on that playground the other day and thought, wow, this is a nice place for a playground way up here on the hill. So it figures Chatham will now give rights to someone to come in and ruin it. All for $3K a month? Way to prostitute your public and open space Chatham Township.
TCG September 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM
A stunning and revealing decision about the priorities of the people who claim to be acting in the public's best interest. A cell tower at a playground? Don't the members of the committee all own nice homes with nice yards that can accomodate a "temporary" tower? Why stick it to the kids who won't get a dime of the kickback money?
Biff September 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I wish there was a "Like" buttom for the comments made by Ducan Munchkin and TCG. Great headline: “Township Trades Playground for Cell Tower and $3,100 a Month – Families Screwed!!” This is an abominable outcome, to put this tower in place of the Esternay playground. The Town lawyer thinks this is a good idea? Wow, how as a citizen can you work to get a new town lawyer if that’s his brilliant value-add to all of this? I sure hope that Laura, Kathy and Robert don’t let the Township down by voting for this. Bailey and Nicole are sure to go for the fast buck sell-out. Laura, Kathy, Robert please, please, do the right thing, not the most profitable. Please put people ahead of money - I greatly respect your efforts and have faith that you won't let the good citizens of the Township down.
Biff September 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Attention: Richard Templin! You should jump on this as it is a very important issue for the upcoming election. I know that I would certainly vote for, and encourage all of my many friends in the Township to vote for the candidate that puts Township families and our children ahead of Cell Towers and T-Mobil payoffs. This has the potential of being a very big issue in the coming November election!!
Stacey Ewald September 14, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I don't understand why our Township Committee feels the need to accomodate every cell tower request. If Sprint has a gap to resolve, do we need to accomodate one of their cell towers? No one has an expectation of infallible cell service. There are numerous dropped locations in Chatham Township and surrounding towns, including the Township Municipal Bldg. Why do we bow to every request! And do you really believe we will ever see that playground again! Why would T-Mobile pay to construct a replacement tower just so they can pay to deconstruct and put a new one on the PSE&G monopoles! And what power are we going to have to get them to take it down once it's up. None!!! Don't fool yourself. This is T-Mobile's effort to expand their coverage and the pole is not coming down once it's up.
Andrew September 14, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Myself as a Chatham Twp resident I would like to run against these folks I feel like pure negligence is being used. Why should a playground be sacrificed for a cell phone tower? The kids need somewhere to play and interact. There is 9.4 square miles in the TWP something can get done. Our kids should be first, cell phones do not matter when it comes to the children. I would like to challenge the committee for a seat one day as a man who understands every day life and who knows the citizens come first- Andrew
Biff September 14, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Amen!
Biff September 14, 2012 at 06:32 PM
EXCELLENT POINTS!! VERY, VERY TRUE!!
Sir September 16, 2012 at 01:42 AM
It is a temorary tower. Take your kids to castle park or another playground. Get a life.
Biff September 17, 2012 at 02:44 PM
"Temporary" LOL T-Mobil can feel glad that there is at least ONE naive Kool Aid drinker in the township. There's alwasys one in a crowd, the person who stands up for things like errecting a cell tower that eliminates a playground for our children and families.
A Camp September 18, 2012 at 02:44 PM
If you want to learn the truth about cell towers, there is a wealth of free information available at Anticelltowerlawyers.com. Go to their pages entitled "questions and answers" and "links." You don't necessarily need lawyers to fight towers, but the free information they provide is invaluable in helping anyone fight the irresponsible placement of cell towers, especially in close proximity to children.
Dave 2 September 20, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Oh great, another one of your hack web sites. What, did you forget to pay the bill for savegreenvillage.com??
Dave 2 September 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Please post an example of me making fun of Meghan's Law. If you a going to make statements, please back them up with facts. I understand this may be hard for you considering you have not been able to so yet. Also feel free to show where I slander Chatham citizens. For the record, are you stating that you have no involvement what so ever in the creation, operation or activities associated with the http://obey-me.com site?
Lisa Cappabianca September 22, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Just to be clear - do you really think we are just talking about just ripping up a playground? How are they going to get all that heavy equipment up that hill without ruining the adjacent field? We already have a hard enough time allocating field space between the sports. Are we really going to make Upper Esternay unusable with the construction of this tower?
Dave 2 September 22, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I reviewed http://chatham.patch.com/articles/green-villagers-sue-twp-over-market-garden-ordinance and fail to see what comment I made that "makes fun of" Megan's Law. Another lie filled Templin statement. Can't wait for you to start your offical campaign for Township Committee!
Biff September 25, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Great point Lisa! All, it sounds like the destruction of the Esternay playground, etc. will be again discussed (put to a vote?) this Thursay night (9/27). I'm out of town or I'd go to the Township Committee meeting. It would be great for all concerned residents, especially parents, to reach out to the Township Committee members ahead of the meeting, especially Laura, Kathy and Bob. I'd like to think that Bailey and Nicole will likewise put our children and families ahead of T Mobile and Cell Towers, but I am much less optimistic. For the sake of all the families and children of Chatham Township, thank goodness that Laura, Kathy and Bob are on the Committee!! Please let your voices be heard!
Biff September 26, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Stacey Ewald wrote an excellent, informative letter that Editor Laura Silius kindly posted on "The Patch" today (9/26/12), regarding Chatham Township families/children and playgorunds vs. T Mobile 150 foot cell towers. I encourage all to read it.
Biff September 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM
All concerned Township residents should go to today's "Patch" posting http://chatham.patch.com/articles/over-objections-cell-tower-goes-to-bid and read Laura Silvius' excellent and very timely/real time write-up of last night's Township Committee meeting and the shocking Cell Tower vote result, to read who the winners, losers, heros and villians are (spoiler alert: One may surprise some of you, she did me)
BFF September 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
The previous site would have worked. Why rip up the playground where my little boy plays. And a cell tower right next to the soccer field where my daughter plays soccer? Hidden up in the back was a much better place for the tower. I'm wondering how river road residents feel now afte mucking around. You may think you were helping out the resale value of your own house...but now you're really going to see the tower on Esternay field. Instead of a tower by what is already an existing the PSE&G electric tower ... we'll have a cell phone tower on top of a soccer field clearly visible by everyone.
CB September 29, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Hey, Chatham folks. This has nothing to do with your cell tower issue (although our community had the same issue a few years back). Did the Chatham Day School complete their renovations and if so, has there been any deterioration in the traffic patterns in your community as a result? Just curious since the same traffic "expert" is testifying in my community and it appears that all of her testimony never indicates that there will be worse traffic conditions following construction. True or not? I appreciate the efforts of any of you who take the time to respond. Thanks!

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