Calais Planning Board Considers New Cell Tower

By Kaileigh Deacon


The Calais Planning Board held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday July 11 at 6pm in City Council Chambers. Present were Michael Seymour, Joan Perry, Herm Gadway, Chairman Richard Ramsey, and City Manager Jim Porter. 

The only item on the agenda was a Public Hearing on a site plan for a proposed telecommunications facility in Red Beach. On hand from Black Diamond Consultants to present on behalf of Wireless Partners II, LLC was Jim Herbert. The proposed site would be off Route 1 just before the Red Beach Cemetery on the right hand side of the road as you’re leaving town. 

The site would include a 190ft self supported lattice tower with antennas and an 8x12 Modular Platform. Per FAA approval the tower will not require any tower lighting because of the tower’s height and the modular platform will require no exterior lighting as well. Commercial Airports will be notified by the FAA of the tower’s location so aircrafts can avoid it; smaller airports will be made aware through other organizations. 

The construction of the site would take roughly six to eight weeks to complete with minimal impact on the surrounding area. There would be at least one week of civil engineering work to be completed and two to three weeks of heavy construction. Once the construction is completed, there will only be one to two trucks monthly out to the site. Any damage to the existing dirt road would be repaired and the road restored to its original state. 

The current right of way road has one property on it and there were people on hand to represent this property owner. One concern was whether or not the road would be gated. Herbert indicated that there were no current plans to gate the road but should residents decide they would like this to happen, the Wireless Company would not be opposed to the idea so long as they retained a key. 

One question the land owner had was what would the level of radiation the tower would emit. Herbert said that because of the height of the tower and the power levels there would be no concern about negative side effects from the tower. 

Perry: I feel if it meets the standards and it’s a need of the community. 

The Planning Board approved the site plan. Even with the site plan approval there is a 30 day appeal process. Herbert asked if there was anything to prohibit construction for this project starting before that thirty day appeal process was completed. Porter advised there was not though they would be doing so at their own risk until the appeal period is completed. 

Though not on the agenda for the meeting Jim Porter brought up a letter he received and wished to address with the board. The letter was from a concerned citizen who was worried about the amount of incidents in which cars ran into buildings. It was mentioned that there be a requirement of some sort of barrier between the building and parking lot to reduce these types of incidents from happening. The Board heard the concerns and considered them. Though they cannot make an amendment to the current ordinances, it will be something they consider in future site plans and will look at adding to the ordinance at a later date.