The Village of Depew might soon have four cell phone towers. The possibility has prompted a major fight in the small village over negotiations with Blue Wireless.
It led to a packed Village Board meeting last night with overtones that someone in government was getting something for letting the towers be built. Officials say the village might get quite a lot.
Not all in attendance are pleased with the developments.
"I would beg this board to sit down with people, not some sell-me: I've got a tower for you," said Dan Beutler, who has concerns over the radio signals emitted by cell phones and their respective towers.
"Blue Wireless could go over to Lancaster. They got towers all over the place. But, they have open ground."
The situation is complicated because Blue lawyer Corey Auerbach says local governments are limited by Washington over what they can do to regulate cell towers. Here, the talks include taking two current town-owned towers and replacing them with much higher towers for Blue. The towers would also include equipment for the village's radio purposes. The village would get an array of price breaks on services for approving the tower construction and installation.
Village consultant Joseph Ligammare says the village would receive up to 30 new phones, valued at $600, which would include "unlimited nationwide data. They will be broken down for each of the fire apparatuses and the fire chief's vehicle, as well as the village administrator, the OEM director, two for code enforcement."
Village officials assured the gathering that if a deal is negotiated it will have to go through a long public process before new towers are approved and built.