GRAND ISLE – A balloon test is in progress until 1 p.m. today for the proposed AT&T cell tower at the Grand Isle Sheriff’s Department.
The tethered balloon offers a visual depiction of the proposed 180 foot tower.
Virtual Site Simulations, LLC (VSS) is conducting the Balloon Test which is being used to generate photographic simulations from various vantage points within one-and-a-half to two miles of the site.
The photographic simulations will be available for viewing and presented for the Grand Isle Selectboard’s consideration at a public hearing anticipated to be held on Monday, Jan. 20.
Jennille Smith, a Site Acquisition Consultant of Centerline Communications told The Islander at the site today, the photographic simulations would be available in about a week or so.
They can be viewed at https://www.drm.com/news/att-firstnet-gsid-balloon-test.
The Sheriff’s Department signed a preliminary lease agreement for a communications tower to be constructed next to the new sheriff’s office off U.S. 2 last December.
Sheriff Ray Allen said the parties are looking to sign a permanent agreement for the 180-foot cell tower at the Island Industrial Park at 10 Island Circle.
AT&T began to investigate placing the tower next to the new Sheriff’s office after separate pitches by the utility for two lots on Lovers Lane, a residential area, received considerable pushback from local residents early last year.
The residents expressed strong disappointment over the lack of transparency in each proposal and both tower applications were proposed at 140-feet among homes.
Sheriff Allen and the town of Grand Isle had signed a 5-page memorandum of understanding
in October that looked to put the tower on the 2.39 acre parcel that the sheriff’s department recently bought.
That agreement set a Feb. 3, 2020 deadline for the town to be satisfied enough to be able to write a letter of recommendation. A 2,500 square foot compound also is proposed to service the tower.
Allen has said he was interested in helping find a solution to house the tower because his department is seeking improved service for both cell phones in and near his office and for mobile computers in the patrol cruisers. The sheriff’s office has been designated recently as the new Emergency Operations Center should a disaster hit Grand Isle County.
A public hearing is scheduled at the Grand Isle Selectboard meeting Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.