Verizon Wireless is moving forward with plans to add a new cellphone tower in Rostraver Township, following approval from the township’s commissioners.
The board held a public hearing during its meeting last week to hear comments about a request from Capital Telecom Holdings II LLC and Pittsburgh SMSA Limited Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, for conditional use of a communications tower off Plaza Drive in Rostraver Township.
Among those who addressed the board was John Fuhry, a township resident. Fuhry, expressed concerns that his property value may drop because of the towner, and asked representatives from Capital Telecom Holdings and Verizon about lighting requirements.
Joe Perotti, an attorney representing the applicants, said the proposed tower meets the Federal Aviation Administration’s monitoring requirements.
“Because this tower will be less than 200 feet tall, lighting won’t be required,” said Perotti. “There won’t be any need for beacon or strobe lights.”
Also addressing the board was Pat Alberts, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Monongahela Valley Hospital. Alberts asked if the tower could potentially cause problems with medical equipment at MVH’s HealthPlex facility off Route 51 but was told there won’t be any interference issues.
Commission Chairman Devin DeRienzo said the tower will be an asset for for the township.
“There is a huge gap in coverage from Rostraver Airport on Route 51 to the Route 201 corridor,” he said. “Cellphone coverage frequently gets dropped in that area. This tower will help to address that problem.”
Commissioners DeRienzo, Ray Iacoboni, Gary Litvany and Gary Beck Sr. voted to approve conditional use of the tower, contingent upon the applicants receiving stormwater approval. Commissioner Henry Boldyzar Jr. was not present for the meeting.
In addition, the board heard concerns from residents about a 500-megawatt power plant that will be built by Invenergy in neighboring Elizabeth Township. DeRienzo said that while the commissioners have no control over what happens in Elizabeth Township, they will continue to closely monitor the development. He said the commissioners are asking Elizabeth Township officials for more information about the project.