Permanent cell tower site approved by Bay Head

BAY HEAD — The Bay Head Borough Council has taken steps toward locating a new permanent cellular tower within the municipality, as the task force created to determine the best site and style for the tower provided multiple recommendations that were unanimously approved by the governing body at its first meeting of the new year. At the Jan. 4 reorganization meeting of the council, the cell tower committee recommended installing one new 150-foot permanent cell tower at the Bay Head Public Works Department site, on the western side of the facility.  “The committee was unanimous with these recommendations,” member Richard McGoey said. “We were very much guided by a lot of communications from the council, from the mayor, from public meetings, as well as a lot of emails.  “The committee has gone through all of those really quite carefully to make sure we took into account the input and the items of discussion that residents had, the council had. We wanted to be fair and objective, but also very thorough to make sure the residents know that the committee heard them and took into account their concerns.  “Bay Head is a heavily populated, reasonably well-developed town, there are really no open spaces, there is nowhere in town that you would call ideal … so the effort here was to find a site that has the least adverse impact.” According to Mr. McGoey, the committee, made up of 22 individuals representing a geographic cross-section of Bay Head, developed a list of 20 potential sites for the permanent structure. Throughout the process, sites were measured by criteria ranging from sufficient land area, transmission coverage to municipality and compliance with the borough’s conservation zone ordinance, among others. “The public works site has a significantly less adverse visual impact, impact on the historical character of Bay Head, margin of physical safety, margin of health safety, significantly less noise impact, significantly less environmental impact, significant greater confidence in gaining permits, significantly less disruption to existing activities, so it was pretty compelling,” Mr. McGoey said. During the presentation, Mr. McGoey spoke about the importance of the placement of a permanent tower in the municipality. “The existing New Jersey American Water Company tower holds the antennas for telecommunications services for fire, police, first aid, 911 emergency services and cell phone coverage. The potential loss or degradation of these services is a concern expressed by just about everybody and if there is a degradation or loss the community impact would be significant, affecting our health and welfare and safety,” he said.  “The standard for providing full reliable coverage is to install towers about every one-half to one mile apart depending upon the terrain, population density and tower height. Bay Head is really serviced by four towers, predominately by the Bay Head water tower, but services are needed from three surrounding towers in Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Borough and one in Brick along Mantoloking Road. “If we lose the tower … our assessment is that the center, eastern and southern sections of Bay Head would have dangerously unreliable coverage and that the boundaries of Bay Head closer to the towers off site, would have some coverage, but it could also be limited to coverage only outdoors. We feel that condition is unacceptable … so we are convinced a new cell tower is necessary.”

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