Third-party representatives negotiating on behalf of Verizon presented their monopole proposal to the Borough of Bath Council on Monday, June 4. The 130-foot monopole, which will be located near the Bath Volunteer Fire Department, will help eliminate coverage gaps in the area. Should the monopole be approved, Verizon would enter into a leasing agreement with the borough for $22,000 per year. Other wireless companies may also lease antennas on the monopole and pay 20 percent of their lease to the borough.
Andrew Peterson, radio frequency design engineer for dBm Engineering, described the monopole as “adding three more lanes to a busy highway.” A wireless cell tower south of the borough in Jacksonville cannot handle the dense amount of wireless traffic, much of it coming from the borough itself. This is leading to dropped calls, slow speeds, and unreliable devices during peak times throughout the day. The monopole will alleviate these issues, improving wireless access for Verizon users throughout the borough. Peterson and the rest of his team believe other carriers may also co-lease the monopole at a later time.
There are no safety issues and interference issues in regards to the monopole, Peterson explained. While the monopole will give off electromagnetic energy, even in what Peterson calls the “worst case scenario,” the monopole will only give off about 2.5 percent of the maximum FCC allows. Monopoles rarely collapse, having withstood Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and are situated in secure compounds. A maintenance check is done every month and structural inspections are done annually. Meanwhile, the fire department and other first responders should expect no radio interference.
A draft lease will be put together for borough council’s review. However, Peterson and his team acknowledge this project is still in the “preliminary” stages. After the lease is drafted, negotiated, and signed, environmental and geotechnical studies must also be done.
Other news in Bath:
- Monday’s meeting marked the last council meeting held in the current municipal building. The building will be put up for public bid and council will move to its new location on Walnut Street.
While council president Mark Saginario acknowledged that the move is “bittersweet,” he says he looks forward to moving into the newer, modern, and less expensive building.
“I think this is a good step forward for the borough,” he said.
- Merchant Day will be held on Tuesday, July 24 as part of Community Days. Businesses are encouraged to participate in any way they can and should contact Harrell Geter to learn more information.
- Mayor Fiorella Mirabito honored former-councilman Michael Reph for his more than 22 years of service and dedication to the borough. Kathy Hayes-Reph, owner of Hayes Flowers, was also honored by Mayor Mirabito for her business’s 50 years of community commitment and “exceptional achievement.”