The town of Spafford is continuing to explore the feasibility of building a new cellphone tower in the area.
The tower would aim to provide better cellphone service, particularly on the shores of Skaneateles and Otisco lakes, which currently receive little to no coverage. The town board discussed details of the potential project with a contractor and local residents at its March 14 meeting.
Board members previously looked into building the tower on Ripley Hill, one of the highest locations in Onondaga County at about 1,900 feet above sea level, but now believe the best site would be Spafford’s own Transfer Station. Jeff Paul, owner of TCT Tower Services, recommended the Transfer Station location after comparing the amount of cellphone coverage a tower at either site could provide.
“It was determined after reviewing the propagation maps that [the Ripley Hill site] didn’t suit the needs of the town as a whole,” Paul said. “It left a lot of gaps in the coverage.” A tower at that location would not cover the shorelines in particular, he said, because of the steep hills.
“The next most logical spot was the town-owned property on Stanton Road, the Transfer Station,” Paul said. “After running propagations on that property at different elevations and different frequencies, we found that that did serve the needs of the town, covering the entire town.”
Town Supervisor Webb Stevens opened the tower discussion to questioning from those who attended the meeting.
“How deep are the footers on the tower?” Spafford resident Jake Sheahan asked immediately. Paul responded, explaining that the depth would be determined by soil studies, but that he’s built towers set as deep as 60 feet into the ground, as well as towers that are anchored on the surface.
Sheahan continued to question Paul about how many anchors the tower would need, what it would be made of, if it would have lights for aircrafts and whether or not it would require a transformer.