by Alexander Roberts –
The 150-foot monopole hastily erected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 30 feet from a Franklin Courts playground is coming down. After a firestorm erupted against the installation, and with the enlistment by village officials of New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, the MTA agreed to find another home for its Metro North Police communications equipment.
In a statement on November 9, the MTA said, “The MTA, Thruway and State Police, working together, have identified an existing monopole where the MTA would be able to relocate communications equipment from the monopole near the Franklin Court housing complex that, as announced, we plan to dismantle.”
MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said the equipment will be relocated to an existing cell tower half the size of the Franklin Courts monopole, located at the new State Police barracks on Paulding Avenue. Whip antennae will be added to the existing tower, which the MTA said will improve its police communications, eliminating the need for a new tower. No commercial cell company antennas will be added, as were contemplated for the Franklin Courts site.
While the state agency had earlier told the village the new pole would be removed by March, the latest announcement made no mention of timing. Said Tarrytown Village Administrator Richard Slingerland,“We prefer to see it removed sooner than later, but we don’t have an official date.” Slingerland said the MTA promised to provide more details in early December.
The Tarrytown community packed an October forum on the cell tower. Residents and public officials denounced the installation because a playground and more than a dozen homes lie in the “fall zone,” the area of potential hazard if the tower were to collapse. Others pointed to potential health effects from electromagnetic radiation and the impact on the Hudson River viewscape.