A 300-foot tower that New York State Electric & Gas Co. plans for a 32-acre site at Stolle and Creek roads in Elma nearly failed to get approval last week from the Town Board.
The proposal was approved after a NYSEG representative agreed to allow local emergency services to put their radio antennae on the tower at no cost.
Previously, NYSEG said that it did not want any co-locaters on its tower.
Supervisor Dennis M. Powers announced before the vote that NYSEG had met all the requirements for a special-use permit; a public hearing drew no responses for or against the tower; it had been recommended by the Planning and Zoning boards; and the engineering firm Clark, Patterson and Lee had issued a declaration that it would have no negative effect on the environment.
In addition, NYSEG had come up with a $42,000 demolition bond and had received a height variance. But when Powers asked for a second for his motion to approve the special-use permit, he was met with silence from the board.
Finally, Councilman Michael P. Nolan made a motion to table the vote, contending that the issue needed further discussion. Councilman James Malczewski seconded Nolan’s motion to table. The board voted to table it, with Powers voting no.
Joshua Silver, an attorney representing NYSEG, responded in surprise. He said that the company had received recommendations and that the coming winter could affect a concrete footing, putting NYSEG in a bind if the construction had to wait until spring. Nolan answered that “approval of a special-use permit is up to each of us as individuals, and while we may not meet your timetable, we need to give it lots of thought for a tower that size in this town.”
The new tower could create a digital link with substations in other areas using a smart grid technique that Silver said would be more efficient in detecting the location of any power failures.
Silver immediately agreed to a condition Nolan presented to have one emergency server co-locater on the tower at no charge. Nolan quickly brought the matter up again for another vote, and it was approved.