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Cobbetts Firehouse eyed for cell tower site

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Ed Mooney of Highlander wants to put a cellphone tower at the Cobbetts Lane Firehouse.

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Ed Mooney of Highlander wants to put a cellphone tower at the Cobbetts Lane Firehouse.

Ed Mooney of Highlander, an East Islip-based cellphone tower installation company, has his eye on the Cobbetts Lane firehouse.

Mr. Mooney asked the Shelter Island Fire Commissioners Monday night to allow him to install a 100- to 120-foot tower at the station that could serve both the needs of the Fire District and various unidentified cellphone providers.

Mr. Mooney outlined plans he said could net the district $8,000 a month in fees after a year or two as the company leases tower antennae space to cellphone providers at the firehouse. A $100,000 bonus would be paid to the district 60 days after the company received a certificate of occupancy from the town.

If a tower is placed at there, Chief John D’Amato said the department should place its own antennae there to improve communications. In most parts of the Island, there is good transmission, but there are a couple of down spots, according to Second Assistant Chief Greg Sulahian.

“I am the largest guy in the business,” Mr. Mooney said, boasting that he has installed some 16,000 towers throughout Long Island. At the same time, he was vague with the commissioners about his company, saying he operates under 46 different names, but that Highlander would do for their purposes. Asked about the company after his presentation, he told the Reporter the various companies were created because of inheritance procedures among his four daughters.

Helen Rosenblum, attorney for the Fire District, raised some issues pertaining to zoning. The Town Code allows for a tower of up to 150 feet, but encourages shared use of existing and future towers.

Although Mr. Mooney didn’t submit a formal request to the commissioners Monday night, he said the written proposal would include fencing and a design that would include an American flag at the top. That general description fits with the Town Code.

In other news, three Fire Department members are being dropped from active duty for failure to complete the required eight hours of Occupational Safety and Health Administration training in the past year. There’s no reason why any firefighter who wanted to qualify couldn’t have managed to find eight hours to complete the requirement, said Chief John D’Amato.

There are also a few members who failed to respond to enough calls and training sessions to qualify for the Length of Service Award Program to receive credits toward an eventual pension from the department.