Monday June 17, 2013

DALTON -- It could probably resemble a smoke tower or a tree, but a new Verizon Wireless tower could go up in Dalton, improving Verizon carriers’ cell phone reception.

After being endorsed by the Dalton Select Board last week, the decision went before the Zoning Board of Appeals. A final decision will made on July 2.

"We received no opposition, however we had no time to deliberate," Zoning Board of Appeals President Anthony P. Doyle said "We just ran out of time."

A 90-minute discussion at the Board of Appeals meeting centered around shaping the cell tower to resemble a smokestack to blend in with the industrial landscape of the nearby Byron Weston Company.

About 20 people attended the Board of Appeals meeting, Doyle said. The half-dozen people who spoke up all were in favor, Doyle said.

Before the proposal of a cell tower was brought to the Select Board on Monday, Verizon Wireless officials brought it to the Dalton Redevelopment Authority on June 5, and also to the Dalton Industrial Commission.

At the Select Board meeting, Sand Carter, the manager of real estate and zoning proposed several ideas for the tower, including cell towers disguised as smokestacks or various types of trees.

At the June 5 meeting, the Dalton Redevelopment Authority said the smokestack-shaped cell tower was "patronizing and insulting to the town," Select Board Chairman John F. Boyle said at the meeting.


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He added that it is his opinion the cell tower should be a tree to better blend in.

"We don’t need another smokestack adjacent to another smokestack," Boyle said.

He said that there has been "a documented gap" in Verizon service for most of Dalton, and is supportive of a new cell tower to remedy that.

To reach Adam Poulisse:

apoulisse@berkshireeagle.com,

or (413) 496-6214.

On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse