The Massapequa Park Village Board has voted to give Mayor James Altadonna final authorization to purchase a small parcel of land from Nassau County where a Verizon cell tower will be erected.
Verizon’s previous contract with the Massapequa Water District, which had allowed the communications giant to mount a cell repeater on their water tower, and they have been unable to successfully negotiate on a fee for renewing the contract.
“We asked Verizon to go back to the Water District three days ago,” Altadonna said at Monday's Village Board meeting. “We really tried to put the two parties together, but they just couldn’t come to an agreement.”
Utilizing their federal rights as a utility, which allows Verizon to install cell towers in a community to serve their customers despite possible protests of local government, the company approached Massapequa Park
They asked to establish a cell presence in their Village, something Mayor Altadonna said the Village had been resisting for the past 12 years.
“Unfortunately, Verizon has the right of way in this matter,” he said. “This wasn’t our first choice, but we’re going to go ahead and purchase this property and try and work something out with Verizon...part of working something out with Verizon is purchasing this property.”
The plot of land is located in the Southwest parking lot of the , facing Sunrise Highway west of the bus stop located there.
While Massapequa Park will be purchasing the land for the amount of $5,600, but it’s up to Verizon to build and maintain the approximately 150-foot tall galvanized metal pole that their cell repeater will be mounted on.
When asked about possible health risks associated with the addition of the cell tower to the community, Altadonna said that it’s a concern that the Village Board shares.
“It’s in the back of all of our minds,” he said. “It was ill-conceived that the federal government and congress allowed the utilities to have carte blanche to set up wherever they want. It really negated the ability of local municipalities to work with them. We’ve kept them out for years by offering alternate sites, but now we’ve run out of options. Our hands are tied, and it’s frustrating.”
The next meeting of the Massapequa Park Village Board is scheduled for Monday, September 10, at 8 p.m.