Proposed Eels Hill cell tower would replace existing tower with taller one

City officials have scheduled an information meeting for July 10 regarding a cell tower proposed for Eels Hill. The proposal has been the subject of some resident concern.

The cell tower proposal came up at the Board of Aldermen’s May meeting. But since some aldermen had questions about AT&T’s plan to build a new tower on Eels Hill to replace an existing tower, the aldermen tabled the matter to gather more information and public input.

The information meeting will take place Thursday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the aldermanic chambers at Milford City Hall.

In May, the aldermen were asked to approve an AT&T request to erect a tower at Eels Hill Road, which lies off New Haven Avenue. The property was once a Nike missile base and more recently housed Milford’s Board of Education offices. The city would accept ownership of the tower from AT&T once construction is complete and the city would then lease space on the tower to AT&T.

Attorney Daniel Laub of Cuddy & Feder said an existing cell tower on the site is 100 feet tall and the company is proposing replacing it with a slightly taller structure. The new tower would be 130 feet tall but with a slimmer profile. Police antennas currently on the 100-foot tower would be moved to the new tower.

Laub said it is basically a “win-win for the city.”

Alderman Ray Vitali asked the benefits financially for the city. Alex Marsten from AT&T explained there is a monthly lease payment, and the lease lasts 25 years. He also said the city will be getting a new tower. Vitali also asked about possible camouflage for the tower, but Marsten said the company hadn’t considered that. In some cases towers are designed to look like tall trees, but Marsten said in this case, “A large tree would be in the middle of nowhere.”

Mayor Ben Blake said the city would be swapping one tower for a like tower, and that it wouldn’t be the tallest in the city. “It would be the second tallest,” Blake said.

Abutting property owners were notified this week about the information meeting. For some of them, it was the first they’d heard about the new cell tower.

“You will now be bombarded with radio frequency microwaves 24 hours a day, let alone having the privilege of viewing one of AT&T’s beautiful cell towers out your kitchen window,” resident Walt Rollins wrote in a letter to his neighbors. “Just think how your property values will soar.”

Laub spoke of an exposure study during the May Board of Aldermen’s meeting, pointing out that the FCC regulates electromagnetic fields and what is acceptable to the general population. He said the new tower would generate electromagnetic fields considerably lower than the acceptable standard.

He said that the current tower emits 7.575% of the permitted emission level, and the new tower would add 9.75% to that, bringing the emissions to about 17% of the FCC permitted emission level.

More recently, however, Laub explained that those projections were estimates, and that updated information actually brings the new total emissions in at a much lower number. He said the new tower would emit 7.6% of the FCC permitted emission level, up just slightly from the current 7.575%

Alderman Bryan Anderson said he believes there is a need to upgrade the police communication system, which this would accomplish, but he said he had some concerns. Other aldermen did, too, and therefore the vote was tabled.

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  • peanut_gallery_ninja

    There is already a tower there. This is a slightly taller tower with a slightly higher power that will add a cell phone transmitter. But not a greater health risk:

    This is a NIMBY / property value issue for very local residents that can (apparently) not see the existing 100′ tall tower from their kitchen window now but would be able to see a 130′ tall tower if this is this is built.

    • Shadows_end

      You have only shown 2 studies and I’m sure AT&T would love to put one in your back yard.

    • CTDad

      Think again…current tower is about 100ft and only serves the Milford Police, Fire, Public Works, and Utlity companies and has a short range for local use…the new tower is going to be 150ft commerical tower with multiple cells,servicing a much larger cell area and supporting a significantly larger user base…So use your teenage ninja turtle senses for a minute and think about how many people you know that live on their mobile devices…

      • peanut_gallery_ninja

        Please elaborate, I’m not sure what you’re going for here… Is it that this tower expands cell phone user base to more users so that their handsets can increase their exposure to RF radiation? Oh, and a TMNT reference. Saw what you did there. Nice.

        • ctdad

          don’t confuse a cell phone with a cell tower, a cell tower is a simple repeater…cell signals are RF and attenuate, they tower receives the RF signal, converts it to digital and back to RF once again, thus strengthening the signal..pretty simple really, however, the tower emit frequencies at a lower power, thus giving the impression that it should be safe, when it fact, it is not because it is continuous RF radiation…however the US does not recognize this…The World Health Organization, which is an arm of the UN, has already acknowledge RF radiation as a carcinogen.

          • peanut_gallery_ninja

            I was replying to another of your posts while you replied to this. I think we’re talking about the same thing regarding attentuation of RF from towers. Can we consolidate posts in the future to my latest below? BTW, sitll not sure about the meaning of your “think again…” post.

          • peanut_gallery_ninja

            and frankly, the meaning of your “don’t confuse” post as well.

          • Shadows_end

            They call it a “Peanut Gallery” for a reason….LOL…your point of view is yours….so keep it to yourself

          • peanut_gallery_ninja

            We’re all posting in the peanut gallery. My point of view is mine. Your point of view is yours.

            Perhaps you should answer some questions about the truthiness of your original letter regarding the danger of cell phone towers, the WHO position, and the fact that they aren’t even microwaves at all.

            Anyway, it doesn’t even matter what we say here. The alderman (and p&z?) will decide, hopefully based on constituent input derived on facts. Like actual facts.

  • peanut_gallery_ninja

    Two studies by actual researchers, not random internet bloggers. AT&T might want to put a tower in my yard. They haven’t asked. But your assertions that this is a health issue are unsupprted by data (because science). If you disagree, please discard your cell phone, wifi, bluetooth, etc. Do not use your microwave oven either.

    • Shadows_end

      The devices you mention do emit RF and may also cause a health risk. The Towers Emit much more then these device will ever emit. I have a choice in my home to use or not use, I won’t have a choice to not absorb the tower’s emissions will I? There are several studies and I can share links to some youtube videos as well, but I’m sure you either work for the city or AT & T, so this information is falling on deaf ears…

      Here is a study…I’m sure by some blogger hacks

      You should not sit in front of your computer either…but perhaps move under the High Tension Wires since neither are a health risk.

      • peanut_gallery_ninja

        Viewed your link. Yup. Those are some straight up blogger hacks right there. Links to youtube videos? Really? I’ll pass.

        The way I see it, the burden is on you to present actual facts, not heresay. Otherwise, this is about the view from your kitchen window. We all live in the burbs and can’t always control the development around us.

        So I’m out. I’ve expressed my opinion to our 5th district aldermen. I’m now going back to sit in front of my computer and do my job (unrelated to AT&T or the city, depite your insinutaions) using science, math, data, and good judgement.

    • CTDad

      I’m not going to try to convince you of the risk of continued exposure to low level RF radiation but to say it is considered a carcinogen by the World Health Organization…There are other factors surrounding the control of RF Ingress or Egress at the tower or RF absorption level to buildings and vegetation…but again, I have no expectation that you are willing to listen.

      • peanut_gallery_ninja

        OK, we both want to limit our exposure to harmful things in our community. No doubt. I just question if this tower exposes anyone to harm.

        You cite the WHO. I looked it up here

        Some quotes from the WHO page:
        “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two
        decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To
        date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused
        by mobile phone use.”

        “There are some indications of an increased risk of glioma for
        those who reported the highest 10% of cumulative hours of cell phone
        use, although there was no consistent trend of increasing risk with
        greater duration of use. The researchers concluded that biases and
        errors limit the strength of these conclusions and prevent a causal
        These are just a couple exerpts from this webpage. For all concerned, please read the entire article. CTDad, Are you referring to the same WHO document? Because this seems to suggest that the risk of HANDSET usage is unsettled and says nothing about the risk of proximity to transmitting towers (which is what we’re discussing).

  • Concerned citizen

    So, the city wants to build a tower in a residential neighborhood to
    transmit fire and police communications and to lease the rest of the
    tower to AT&T for cell phone use. Let’s see what firemen think about
    those towers being constructed near their station houses…

    “The International Association of Fire Fighters’ position
    on locating cell towers commercial wireless infrastructure on fire
    department facilities, as adopted by its membership in August 2004, is
    that the IAFF oppose the use of fire stations as base stations for
    towers and/or antennas for the conduction of cell phone transmissions
    until a study with the highest scientific merit and integrity on health
    effects of exposure to low-intensity RF/MW radiation is conducted and it
    is proven that such sitings are not hazardous to the health of our

  • Concerned citizen

    Cellphone tower — are we asking the right questions?

    “Congress and the telecommunications industry passed a law to
    specifically prevent legitimate health concerns from being a factor in
    the placement of cellphone towers. Why would they do that?”

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