WGXC-90.7 FM

Public hearing on Verizon plan to put antennas on Providence Hall continues

Dec 14, 2020 6:00 am
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the public hearing called by the Hudson Planning Board to hear comment on the proposed installation of Verizon antennae atop Providence Hall in Hudson, continued December 8. The antennae would serve Verizon customers in Columbia and Greene counties. The application under consideration is for a special-use permit submitted by Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems on behalf of Verizon Wireless to install and operate wireless communication equipment on the roof. The public hearing began in late October. If approved, the permit would allow the construction of six antennae. “This application has nothing to do with 5G,” attorney Scott Olson said. “Our engineer has confirmed they don’t have plans for 5G in the city of Hudson at the moment or the near future ... If it was 5G we’d tell you, because we’re not afraid of 5G. But it is 4G.” Visual impacts, code compliance, structural assessments and cultural resources can be considered, as part of the process. The location adjoins a historic district. Alexandra Semchenko, a Warren Street resident, presented photos of the view of the Providence Hall rooftop from around the city. The roof line is visible from walking tours of the historic district, she said. Properties can be devalued as much as 20 percent because of antennae, she claimed. She also expressed concerns about high winds and lightning in the area of the antennae, which could pose a safety hazard, although other antennae around the world withstand many weather conditions. Verizon’s engineer determined an area that would fit with the coverage area and then considered the city code, which has a city-owned existing structure or building as first priority. Two years ago Verizon proposed installing the antennae on top of Bliss Towers for a 25-year period, but the plan did not work out, Olsen said. The coverage area from the Providence Hall roof would include much of Greene County, according to Olson. “If we took this site away and put one in Greene County, you’re still going to have a big deficiency in your city,” he said. The public hearing will resume January 12. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.