Verizon Wireless announced plans to Milton town council March 4 to build a new, 140-foot tower near Milton’s public works building on Front Street.
The tower is intended to provide better, faster and more consistent service for Verizon customers and a larger coverage area.
Town Manager Kristy Rogers said before construction can begin, Verizon will submit a site-plan for approval by the town’s planning and zoning commission, and apply for conditional use approval from town council.
Verizon Wireless consultant Sue Manchel said the antenna could be up and operating by 2020, although no specific date was mentioned.
Dropped calls and slow internet speed have been a problem around Milton, but carriers like Verizon and Sprint have been working to install infrastructure to improve service. Sprint plans to upgrade its 4G cell service site on Union Street this spring, while Verizon recently activated a new cell site on Route 30 on the southwest side of Milton.
The site will be a fenced-in, 50-by-50 feet compound with an antenna and galvanized lightning rod at the top of the tower. Verizon consultant Matt Graubart said the original location of the tower was going to be closer to Front Street to minimize the disturbance to the property. But after Graubart’s firm, Maser Consulting of New Jersey, did an environmental impact study, the original site was determined to be too close to wetlands. So the tower location was shifted to be outside of the wetlands.
Verizon representatives said the site was chosen after discussions with Rogers and public works supervisor Greg Wingo about the best location. Graubart said they had looked at installing an antenna on one of the town’s water towers, but determined that it would not provide the coverage Verizon was seeking.
Once the proposed tower is up and running, Graubart said, “We’ve now eliminated almost entirely any dead areas for in-building service and in-vehicle service in town.”