Residents of the Town of Gardiner have long been complaining about poor wireless reception and worrying about how they would manage to contact first responders in an emergency. The quest for an appropriate site for a cell tower serving the town went on for more than a decade, with potential locations at the town landfill on Steve’s Lane, the highway garage on South Mountain Road and the grounds of the town hall itself being proposed, vociferously argued over, and ultimately shot down.
Finally, a site on property belonging to Wright’s Farm on Route 208 received approval in 2014, and construction got under way last year. As often seems to happen in cases of controversial development projects, the actual moment when Gardiner-based cell phone transmission service came online went largely unremarked. But according to town supervisor Marybeth Majestic, speaking at the August 9 Gardiner town board meeting, “AT&T is switched on.”
A second wireless carrier, Verizon, still has to have its equipment atop the cell tower inspected and pay a permit fee before it can begin providing service. “The ball’s in their court,” said the supervisor.
The tower was designed with the capacity to accommodate an additional two carriers, in addition to required emergency broadcast equipment.