A 150-foot cellphone tower is being proposed in the East Berlin Community Park.
If it is built, lease payments to the borough would likely be in the $1,000 per month range, AT&T Mobile Representative Christopher Lash told the borough council during its May meeting.
Fencing for the proposed site could enclose part or all of a proposed dog park, reducing the borough’s costs, Lash said. An advance “lump sum” lease payment could provide funding for the dog park, he said.
The proposed tower would improve coverage for AT&T customers in the vicinity of the borough, offer space where other carriers could mount equipment, and provide infrastructure for the federal FirstNet communications system to be shared by first responders in emergency situations, Lash said.
AT&T is flexible regarding the route of a gravel drive to serve the proposed site, Lash said. Access cannot be from Schoolhouse Lane because it is privately owned, officials said.
“I’d like to start negotiating a lease with your solicitor,” Lash said.
Council members made no decisions, but asked Lash to communicate with borough park officials and provide names of other municipalities that have already been through the tower process. Solicitor Matthew Battersby said he will need additional information, such as whether emergency responders who serve East Berlin have need of the FirstNet equipment.
AT&T would like to begin the project in the short term, Lash said.
“As soon as we can do it, we’ll do it,” Lash said. “We can build a tower pretty quickly, in less than six months.”
Federal aviation authorities would determine whether a flashing light or other markings would be required atop the tower.
Council member Charles Krall questioned the proposed location. Citing his experience in communications and his amateur radio license, he said the spot seemed too low for optimal range.
“This makes no sense to me,” Krall said.
Lash replied that radio frequency engineers studied the terrain and found the location adequate to serve the intended area.