Edgartown forms committee to advise on mobile phone towers


Edgartown selectmen named six townspeople to an advisory committee charged with exploring sites for mobile phone communication towers on Chappaquiddick and at Katama Farm.

In response to inquiries from mobile phone carrier AT&T, as well as from residents dissatisfied with mobile phone coverage, the town is exploring several sites on Chappaquiddick, and evaluating whether communications antennae could be located on the large blue silos at Katama Farm.

“We want as many questions as we can get, just to start the process going,” planning board assistant Georgiana Greenough said at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting. “We want this to be a very, very, productive group. We’d like to get this moving.”

Ms. Greenough, as well as conservation agent Jane Varkonda, have organized the formation of the committee.

Any mobile phone tower would require a permit from the planning board, and the conservation commission manages the town-owned Katama Farm.

Voters at the October 25 special town meeting will be asked whether they want to authorize use of the Katama Farm silos, which have not been used for more than a decade, to locate mobile telephone antennae and technology. The town intends to issue a request for proposals that would ask the winning bidder to locate all equipment inside the silos.

Named to the committee were Fran Clay, Dennis Goldin, Roger Becker, Claire Thacher, Will Geresey, and Robert Gurnitz.

Also Monday, police chief Tony Bettencourt asked selectmen to consider revising parking regulations so that officers will concentrate on violations in the downtown area, and write far fewer parking tickets.

“I’m finding us being inconsistent across the whole town not only with writing tickets, but collecting the money,” Chief Bettencourt said. “Writing a $25 ticket for parking 2.5 hours when they’re downtown trying to spend money, I personally don’t think it’s the right thing to do. We’re not trying to make money. By the time we pay the county, traffic officers, it’s almost a wash.”

In other action selectmen approved a plan to move a small cottage from Morse Street, to a new lot in Oak Bluffs. The application was filed by Andrew Farrissey, who is moving the building for his son. The home was slated for demolition.