By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – A request to install a wireless communication facility at the Fire Station located at 96 Pleasant St. met with opposition during a public hearing held during the City Council's Aug. 27 meeting.
Andy Candiello, representing applicant MetroPCS, said the plan calls for a set of six wireless antennas and an equipment storage facility to be installed in the attic of the building.
William Taylor, the president of the local firefighters union, said he had concerns on how the safety of the employees who work at the station would be impacted. He also questioned the structural integrity of the building.
“We are in the building 24-hours a day and I am concerned about the weight of the equipment,” Taylor said. He also commented on how this use could “aesthetically change the looks of the building.”
Ward 6 Councilor Edward Clancy and Ward 5 Councilor Rob Seymour also questioned the soundness of the structure. Candiello said that no problems had been found when MetroPCS had an engineer conduct an informal study of the building. The company plans to do an in-depth study and present it at a future meeting to the council and other city officials, he added.
Seymour suggested that MetroPCS have a structural engineer connect with John Ghiloni, the city's director of public facilities, to verify their findings. Councilor-at-Large ?Mark Oram asked that this information be presented when the company meets with the Wireless Communications Committee at a future date.
Betty Rigney, a resident of Franklin Street, said she is also questioning the health effects of the equipment as well as the possible effect on property values in the immediate area.
Ward 1 Councilor Joseph Delano Jr. asked what the company would pay the city for renting space in the building.
Candiello said it would be approximately $31,000 a year; the contract being requested is for 10 to 15 years.
The city would “surely benefit financially” if the permit is approved, Delano responded.