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Washington Twp. tower color debated

January 15, 2009

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - As they get ready to decide a color scheme for a new cell phone tower, the Washington Township Supervisors this week talked about how no matter their choice, the structure will be obtrusive.

"You're never going to disguise a 190-foot pole," Supervisor John Gorman said.

The supervisors are expected to make a final decision on Monday concerning a land development plan submitted by Liberty Towers of Rockville, Md. The tower developer also applied for land use and building permits.

Once started, construction at the Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., site will take less than 30 days in all likelihood, according to representatives of Liberty Towers.

The tower would be erected behind the Pen Mar Youth League ballfields on Pa. 16 property the organization owns.

"Pen Mar Youth League requested gray," Township Manager Mike Christopher said Wednesday, launching discussion about the tower's color.

Gorman initially said he would prefer forest service brown.

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"I think it looks less industrial. No matter what color it is, it's going to be visible," he said.

However, representatives of Liberty Towers said the future re-painting of the tower can lead to paint being sprayed beyond the metal and into the environment. They'd prefer the supervisors approve galvanized metal.

"There's a lot of practicality to it. You're never going to match the changing sky," said Mike Hofe, of Liberty Towers.

The supervisors agreed to contact the Happel's Meadow Wetlands Committee for input before their decision.

"Being colorblind, gray always looks good to me," Supervisor Carroll Sturm said.

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