QUEENSBURY — Despite the fact it is the most populated town in the Glens Falls region, Queensbury’s hills and valleys create a number of dead zones for cellphone coverage and emergency radio reception.
A 130-foot-tall cell tower off Ridge Road, disguised as a pine tree, should help with one of those dead spots, along the heavily traveled Route 149 corridor in eastern Queensbury and West Fort Ann. Local emergency service officials said another tower proposed for the Oxbow Hill area off Route 149 for Verizon would help as well.
The Ridge Road tower, on property owned by John Kubricky & Sons across from the Queensbury town landfill, will hold a transmitter for AT&T.
It was built by Center Line Communications of Raynham, Massachusetts, and Bert Stern, vice president of business development for the company, said it was hoped to be online in the coming weeks.
“AT&T is currently installing their antenna and will be on line prior to the end of the year,” Stern said. “We built the tower to support up to four carriers. At this time, we only have AT&T committed, however I expect the others to be along over the next few years.”
Warren County Emergency Services Director Brian LaFlure said the hills and valleys of that area have created dead spots for emergency radio transmissions and cell phone callers.
“Bay Ridge (fire company) has always had problems. It’s just the way the topography is there,” LaFlure said. “That (tower) will be a good addition for us.”
Warren County Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree said the county hopes to site emergency radio equipment on a proposed Verizon tower near Oxbow Hill as part of a countywide effort to improve the emergency radio system. He said Verizon charges the county just $500 a year to put emergency radio equipment on its towers, while others charge much higher rates.
Owners of a new tower near The Glen in northern Warren County wanted to charge the county $4,000 a month for the same opportunity there, he said.
“Verizon allows us to co-locate at a very good rate,” Lamouree said.
Craig Brown, Queensbury’s director of zoning, said the town has not gotten an application for an additional tower off Route 149, although there has been discussion of one.
“That one has been talked about for a while but we haven’t gotten an application for it,” Brown said.