Controversy Swirls Over Proposed Avon Cell Tower Updates

NBC Connecticut

More than 100 people attended a virtual Avon town council meeting Wednesday as councilors considered replacing a 100-foot cell tower on a landfill on Huckleberry Hill Road with a taller, modernized one.

First responders say the outdated public safety equipment that allows them to communicate with each other needs to be updated and be at least 130 feet up.

But homeowners say that added height would mar the landscape. They say the current pole is mostly hidden by trees.

"In the past 10 years, this is probably the most problematic proposal I've seen. It's rife for a dozen challenges,” said Andrew Campanelli, an attorney representing multiple homeowners.

Homeowners hired an attorney and RF engineer to speak at the meeting and offered up alternative solutions, including different locations. They also questioned the lack of details in the proposed tower replacement.

Councilors say a decision does need to be made soon. They say lives are in jeopardy due to first responders being unable to communicate with each other in dead zones.

Officials say it’s about public safety, but the majority of people who spoke during public comment say it’s a commercial tower that will impact the town for years to come.

“This amendment will destroy the natural beauty of Avon, create significant adverse aesthetic, and significantly negatively impact property values in our community,” said resident Joseph Zarb.

The town council decided to delay a vote. They say they’ll review the information presented by the attorney and engineer. A vote is expected to be held within a month.

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