Council Subcommittee Will Discuss Proposal to Put Cell Antennae in Watertown

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The Town Council’s Public Works Subcommittee will delve into the proposal to install cell phone antennae in Watertown at a meeting in January.

In November, the Council heard a proposal from ExteNet Systems to install small antennae on utility poles in two locations in Watertown — one at 171 Palfey Street and one at 550 Arsenal Street. Several residents opposed the installation of the antennae, and expressed about potential health hazards from them.

The requested for the antennae is being made to upgrade the cellular network in town to 5G. New rules adopted by the FCC make the approval process for cell antennae shorter, and with fewer restrictions.

The Council voted to refer the issue to subcommittee to look further into the issue. The meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 15, 2019 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. 

The agenda includes “an analysis of the technical issues, the permitting process with this new technology, determine an appropriate application fee and other possible conditions to be imposed, and make recommendations to the Town Council.”

The Town also received a request on Nov. 30 from AT&T for an antenna to be installed on a utility pole near 5 Coolidge Avenue. On Tuesday, the Council voted to refer this proposal to the Public Works Committee to be heard at the meeting. 

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