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Blue Ridge Summit cell phone tower testimony postponed

Washington Township supervisors to hire consultant to study proposal

Washington Township supervisors to hire consultant to study proposal

June 03, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The third night of testimony regarding a cell phone tower proposed in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., has been postponed.

The continuation of an ongoing public hearing on the proposal from Liberty Towers was scheduled for Monday, but the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors pushed the matter back until June 16. They said they wanted time to contact experts on matters of real estate and cell phone towers.

Also, the supervisors voted 3-1 on Monday to hire a consultant - at a fee of $200 an hour - to review the application from Liberty Towers. The Rockville, Md., company has proposed erecting a 190-foot tower at 15387 Jacobs Church Road, a few hundred feet from Pa. 16 (Buchanan Trail East).

The cell tower would be a conditional use on the commercially zoned property.

Voting in favor of the consulting contract with North Carolina's Center for Municipal Solutions were supervisors Christopher Firme, Carroll Sturm and Stephen Kulla. John Gorman was absent and Elaine Gladhill voted against the motion.

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"I have some issues with this, but feel I can't talk about it because the name 'Liberty Towers' is attached," Gladhill said during the vote.

Township officials have been advised by their legal counsel to refrain from sharing opinions about the application at this point in the process.

Township Manager Mike Christopher told the supervisors that the consultant will be used for "services you deem necessary."

That would include a review of the tower's ability to handle ice and the technical adequacy of the design, Sturm said.

Christopher would not speculate about how many hours the consultant's services will be utilized.

Stahley Road resident Dick Moebius asked the supervisors when they anticipate a decision on the cell phone tower, but received no response.

"I'm just wondering how many more continuations," he said.

Moebius, a proponent of the tower, referenced one person's comment that Liberty Towers has been "jumping through hoops" for the township.

"I call them stumbling blocks," he said.


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