Newport Planning Board holds special meeting regarding proposed cell tower

The Newport Planning Board held a special meeting this evening to discuss the installation of the cell phone tower. Verizon needs their recommendation to receive a special permit and move forward with the process.

Posted: Apr. 12, 2018 11:24 PM

If you live in Newport or have driven through the town, you know there's limited cell service. Verizon took the next step in improving that by appearing in front of the planning board.

At the Newport Town Offices, a representative from Verizon and an attorney outlined their plan to construct a new cell phone tower.

The tower is proposed to be 165 feet with a four foot antenna on top.

On one side, the general consensus from people is that they desperately need better service. But on the other hand, they want to make sure all the steps are followed properly and that everyone is being transparent.

The pros and cons of this new tower were talked about during Thursday's meeting.

"So many emergency personnel rely upon their cell phones," said lawyer Scott Olson. "Yup, they have radios but they rely upon their cell phones often, without their service we get a lot of complaints from police, fire, ambulance all the time."

"It is something that needed to be looked at to increase the coverage so that it benefits first responders, school districts and people that have landlines but on the same time its important to see how intrusive a structure a cell tower could be," said Newport resident Craig Fehlhaber.

The Planning Board unanimously recommended that the town proceed with the project and issue the special permit subject to zoning requirements and a public hearing.

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