A conflict about a wireless cell phone equipment in abandoned silos in Katama came to a swift resolution this week, with members of the Farm Institute, which leases the land, saying they are now in favor of hosting the cell tower. The Edgartown selectmen Tuesday voted in favor of AT& T’s proposal to install the equipment.
Howard Miller, speaking to the selectmen as a member of the Farm Institute board, said the board has approved the proposal to locate the wireless tower on the site. “While our approval is unconditional, we do intend to work out the details with AT& T regarding location of equipment and some other details, but again the approval is unconditional as far as the location of the silos,” Mr. Miller said.
At the meeting Kathy Cerick offered to bring a doctor from the University of Albany to speak to the board to offer a different point of view so the selectmen could see another side of the argument.
The Farm Institute leases town-owned land in Katama. Last fall, town meeting attendants voted in favor of installing wireless cell phone towers inside abandoned silos there, which would improve cell reception in Katama, the Edgartown harbor and parts of Chappaquiddick.
Last week, the selectmen received word that the Farm Institute board had concerns about perceptions of safety issues from having the wireless equipment near where they host visitors and children coming to a summer camp. The board asked the town to consider locating the wireless equipment elsewhere on the farm. Selectmen said it was too late in the game to look at another location, and the change would send the town back to square one.
The proposal still needs to be approved by the planning board and the conservation commission.