Letter: Eels Hill cell tower could open a can of worms

To the Editor:

Under the Telecommunication Act of 1996, and I quote: Section 704(a) of the 1996 Act states that the regulation of the placement, construction and modification of personal wireless service facilities by any state or local government or instrumentality thereof shall not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services and shall not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services. 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7)(B)(i).

Translated, this means that if we allow AT&T to build on any city property, the City of Milford will have no choice, under the law, to allow another carrier to build a tower at the same site as well. The lease agreement, prepared by Centerline Communications, is riddled with language that can be detrimental to the City of Milford and can literally open a can of worms. If we allow AT&T to install their antenna, the City of Milford will be obligated under the law to allow other carriers to do the same.

This proposal is much bigger than simply installing a cell tower.  According to the CT Siting Council’s database, there are 20 cell towers in Milford, with AT&T unfortunately owning one of them behind the Milford Police Station. Five of the 20 are within two miles of Eels Hill and located at Research Drive, Old Gate Lane, Woodmont Road, and two on Melba Street. Each tower is an equivalent elevation as the one proposed by AT&T, with multiple carriers owning space on them. So I have serious reservations with AT&T’s claim that they need this antenna to provide adequate cell coverage.

This proposal is currently tabled by the Board of Alderman but available for comment. I implore all the residents of Milford to go to their August 4 meeting, held at City Hall at 7:30 p.m. to voice their opposition.

Milford is a great city; do not sell it out to become Cell Tower Central.

Ed Vanchot