Utilities Commission: Consultants Studying Whether Irwin Park House’s Garage Could House Cell Service Equipment

A Danbury-based wireless infrastructure company that’s doing consulting work for the town continues to look for an alternative site within Irwin Park after the community argued against a proposed tower in the property’s southwest corner, officials said Monday.

Homeland Towers is looking at the garage that’s connected by a breezeway to the main house at Irwin to store “all the equipment so it would be out of sight,” according to Utilities Commission Chairman Tom Tesluk.

“The idea of placing an antenna or two shorter antennas behind the garage—we are not talking about the barn toward Weed Street, but the garage up on the hill—because that is a higher elevation of what was discussed before, it should have some benefit with its relative height,” Tesluk said at the group’s regular meeting, held in Town Hall. “I don’t think we will see anything from them until September.”

The comments came during an update on New Canaan’s efforts to improve cell service in areas that currently lack it, such as western and northern parts of town.

Commissioners in May, noting that some remarks had been uncivilly delivered by opponents to the idea in a public hearing, agreed to find alternative sites to West School and a specific area of Irwin Park.

The question of just how New Canaan should bolster cell service and how high a priority it is for the town to do so, has emerged as a major discussion topic in this local election season.

Tesluk said that Homeland Towers also is seeking a site in Waveny for infrastructure that would replace the current set-up of antennas, including for emergency responders, that sit atop the water towers there. The property’s owner, Aquarion, has said it will not keep antennas on the water towers after next year.

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