Consultant needed for Chappy tower project

The two photos Mr. Becker presented to the MVC last week. Left, the 120-foot communications tower at the M.V. Arena. AT&T and Verizon are leasing the top two 10-foot positions. The proposed Chappy tower is similar in height (115 feet) and bulk. Right, the current 104-foot AT&T temporary installation at Bob Fynbo’s property.

To the Editor:

I was surprised to see a picture of myself holding a photo of the temporary AT&T cell tower which is now on Chappaquiddick, stating I said that it better represented what AT&T’s proposed permanent tower would look like, in last Thursday’s MV Times on page 5.

That photo should not have been printed with that caption. During that hearing, I actually presented two photos to the commission. One showed the temporary monopole tower which currently serves Chappy. The other, which I believe The Times should have printed with that caption, showed the tower at the M.V. Ice Arena. I showed the pictures to illustrate to the commissioners that the temporary tower which we now have is a single pole without any external antennas. It provides great AT&T signal strength for a large portion of Chappy, as was attested to by the back-from-the-brink-of-death Hanley Clifford.

This television monitor shows the tower proposed by AT&T.

The newly proposed tower, on the other hand, will have four sets of external antennas. The arena tower, rather than having, as you stated, “considerably more exterior antennas than the proposed Chappy tower,” has two tiers of antennas less than the four tiers shown in the AT&T drawing. In fact, the extremely accurate drawing by AT&T of the proposed tower shows it will closely resemble the tower at the ice arena because of the external antennas and similar height. This was my point, and most of the commissioners got it, even if some, as you reported, couldn’t care less what the tower looks like.

I believe Mr. Grossman, AT&T’s lawyer, should go back to his client and have them consider the visual impact of the external antenna arrangement and they should be required to build something more in keeping with the Edgartown special permit guidelines. It would then have less of a regional impact, which is the commissioners’ concern.

Your readers, should you want them informed, might benefit from the publishing of the attached three illustrations with correctly aligned captions. I’ve attached a copy of those AT&T plans, for which I hope you can find room in your paper, since they are the main source of information about this “monstrosity” in the works for Chappy. In addition, attached you will find a picture of the current temporary tower which is serving Chappy well and one of the tower at the arena, which is probably the picture I was showing when the caption was composed. Your readers could then more easily imagine such a structure within 140 feet of their house.

 I was glad that my request that the commissioners employ a consultant to sort out the fake news and technical gobbledygook from what is likely just a blatant grab for profit in the name of safety was reported clearly in your article and on the video of the meeting at  The public certainly doesn’t expect the commissioners to simply take the applicant’s word that there is no way to give Chappy coverage using a stealth tower like the one at the M.V. Airport or in West Tisbury off Old Courthouse Road or, for that matter, like the one we have on Chappy right now.

Roger Becker