Legislation allows cellphone tower at Stiglmeier Park

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – The New York State Legislature has given the Town of Cheektowaga the green light to lease out a small portion of John C. Stiglmeier Park allowing for the construction of a telecommunications tower. Now the bill heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his signature before the town can officially proceed.

Legislation recently passed both chambers in Albany allowing the Town Board to negotiate terms with a cell phone company to use a 50’x50′ area behind the James J. Matecki Center at 500 Losson Road to construct a telecommunications tower.

The Town Board recently asked the State Legislature to pass the measure after a cell phone company was prospecting an area on the grounds of the Southline Athletic Association off North Seine Drive directly behind a residential community.

Some 25 neighbors surrounding the little league fields stood in solidarity at the February 14th Town Board meeting standing up against the construction of a 135’ tower that is trying to be built by Upstate Tower Company and Blue Wireless.

A Federal Communications Commission rule saying governments must act on an application to build a new tower within 150 days of a company submitting an application was never enforced because the process was stalled due to an incomplete application and because the town offered alternative sites at the Matecki Center, behind the Julia Boyer Reinstein Library on Losson Road and an empty parcel of land behind Ted’s Hot Dogs on Transit Road.

Cheektowaga Town Attorney Kevin Schenk, Esq. tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that the town is awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature on the bill before negotiations with the cell tower company can start.

Any proceeds from executing the thirty-year lease must be used by the town to acquire additional parkland or for capital improvements to existing park and recreational facilities.