STARKS — The planning board voted unanimously late Wednesday night to delay a decision on whether to approve construction of a cellphone tower on Abijah Hill Road.

“I think we should postpone the decision,” said planning board member Joe Hartigan. “There are too many unanswered questions and the public is too hot about it.”

Massachusetts-based Bay Communications II LLC is proposing to construct a 195-foot-tall cellphone tower on Abijah Hill Road that would provide wireless service within a three to five mile radius of its location.

The review of the application has been moved to Wednesday, Aug. 21, a decision that the planning board made after listening to nearly four hours of opposition from residents during a public hearing.

Cindy and Harry Brown, who own 80 acres across the road from the proposed tower site, have led opposition to its construction and were joined by about a half-dozen protestors who stood outside the Starks Community Center Wednesday evening. The Brown’s home is about 700 feet from the where the tower would stand.

Inside the community center, every seat was taken. More residents crowded in the doorway and some watched the meeting through the windows.

Many residents said they have learned of the cellphone tower only days ago and said they were unprepared to support its construction.

The tower, which would take about six weeks to build, would initially provide service by AT&T Wireless but Bay has said that they plan to locate up to five additional wireless companies on the site.

Vincent Granese, spokesman for Bay, said the tower will send and receive cellphone signals within a three to five mile radius, depending on the topography of the land and the quality of technology people are using.

Kerry Hebert, chairman of the planning board, said there is nothing in the town ordinance that would prohibit the tower from being built but that over the next few weeks the town will research its effects and construction.

“This is extremely popular technology and it’s coming. There may be people who don’t want it but it will come,” said John Springer, attorney for Bay Communications.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
[email protected]

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