Editorial: A Good Connection

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Who says you can’t fight town hall? A small group of Noyac residents this week proved that speaking up to government officials can bring results.

Residents grew alarmed earlier this month when they learned that Elite Towers planned to bring out a crane to conduct a visual assessment for the possible construction of a 140-foot cell tower on a town Highway Department yard at the end of Club Lane, a short street off Wildwood Road near the Noyac Golf Club.

They were rightfully concerned that they were being notified of a fait accompli at the 11thhour and sprang into action. First, they attended a town board meeting a week ago to offer their objections to the plan. Then they took to social media and phone chains, to spread the word. Tuesday, they mobilized a protest at the site, expecting to meet the crane, which failed to show.

It turns out town officials, who first dismissed residents’ fears as premature, were working behind the scenes on damage control. It turns out, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman admitted on Wednesday morning, that the town had mistakenly signed a lease, giving Elite permission to erect the tower at the Club Lane site, not just conduct preliminary, site selection work

As a result, town officials said they will now revisit the lease and the site as well. Although opponents should not be issuing the all-clear signal just yet, they can rest assured their voices have been heard, and the town will make a greater effort to keep them in the loop the next time around.

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