Debate over putting six Verizon towers on Providence Hall continues
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media with four public hearings down, there is at least one more to go concerning the proposal to install six Verizon 4G antennas on Providence Hall on Columbia Street in Hudson. The application was submitted for a special-use permit by Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems LLC on behalf of Verizon Wireless to install and operate wireless communication equipment on the roof. The public hearing began at the October 27 planning board meeting and has continued at the board’s monthly meetings. Concerns have been raised over radiation health impacts, which the planning board is legally not permitted to consider. The board can make decisions based on visual impacts, code compliance, structure assessments and cultural resources, said Michael Musso, a senior project manager and risk assessor at design firm HDR. Musso has served as a consultant for the planning board throughout Verizon’s application process. Scott Olson of Young/Sommer, Attorneys at Law, a Verizon representative, emphasized that the company's plan is in full compliance with Federal Communications Commission requirements. The plan will only emit 1 percent of the radio frequency radiation emissions the company can legally use, he said. Alexandra Semchenko, a Hudson resident who has made several presentations in opposition to the antennas at the hearings, asked why city-owned properties closer to the waterfront were not being considered and expressed continued concern over lightning and high winds near Providence Hall. Providence Hall resident Glenn Roney said, “People don’t choose to live or visit here because of the quality of cellphone service,” he said, calling the antennas “soul-crushing” and an “ugly, out-of-place variable.” He argued that the negative impacts the antennas would bring to the city would outweigh the benefit of improved service from Verizon. The hearing will continue at the planning board’s February meeting. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.