Cell Phone Tower To Connect Soon

This Whiting cell phone tower is owned by American Tower but the property it is on is owned by the township. Residents would like to see more cell phone carriers added to the tower but matters are moving slow and township officials are as frustrated as residents at the pace of how things are going. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  MANCHESTER – Communication is important for everyone and for some township residents, getting connected to cell phone service as well as having bulletins posted on a public access TV station would be appreciated.

  Business Administrator Brandon Umba reported on the status of the cell phone pole in Whiting that “we received word from AT&T on June 15 that it was planning its installation of equipment in the next 45 to 60 days.

  “We received the lease agreement and they asked us if we had any concerns and I replied and said ‘no we did not have any concerns with that time frame’ but I asked for an update in respect to Verizon and the only answer I got back was ‘yes’ Verizon would be the anchor tenant and are interested in paying but there is no time frame for when Verizon will go on the tower,” Umba said.

  Umba said “I’m assuming AT&T will be our first cell phone carrier on that tower. We are still reviewing our legal prospects of this tower and what we need to do to bring more cell phone carriers.”

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  He made this announcement during a recent Township Council meeting.

These signs are on the property of a Whiting cell phone tower. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Resident Judy Noonan had asked about whether some technical infrastructure was in place that could allow for meetings to be televised and was exploring the idea of how township events and meeting notices could be posted on the local Comcast public access station.

  Umba said that the township’s franchise contract is made up of two agreements – one for residents within the Whiting section of the community and another serving residents in the remainder of Manchester.

  Umba said a meeting with Comcast was planned in the fall to discuss the franchise contract and merging them to one agreement. He said at that time other details related to resident services would be reviewed and requested.

Wanted: New OEM Director

  Noonan also asked about the status of the township’s hiring a director of the township’s Office of Emergency Management. Umba responded, “the position is being filled by the deputy director of OEM right now and the mayor has been reviewing resumes to find someone for that position.”

  “The director must be a resident of the township, that is required by the statute. It is a three-year appointment and the only way the director of the OEM can be removed is by a governor’s directive. That is why it is very important to get the correct person in,” Umba said.