By Buffy Calvert
In Julie McCollister’s poem, You Know You’re in Andes When, the zinger is, “when your cell phone says, ‘No Service Available.’ ” That may change in the first quarter of next year, according to Town Supervisor, Marty Donnelly.
Because of our “Andean” terrain, we need three strategically placed cell towers just to give service to the Town north of Pepacton Reservoir. Two privately owned locations and one Town property have been selected. The owners agreed to let the firm J. and S. build a tower on each location as soon as it has an agreement with a server (such as Verizon, Sprint, or Cingular) to rent space on the tower. J. & S.’s interest is in renting the “space” to up to three servers.
Under a master agreement with the Town, J. & S. will build the towers for free and will split the proceeds with the Town, which will in turn split its revenue from the towers on private property with the owners, therefore generating revenue for both the landowners and the Town coffers. A further bonus is cell service for the Andes Fire Department and Emergency Squad and the Highway Department.
Marty is negotiating for a location south of the Reservoir to service Beech Hill and the Barkaboom.
Can it be true? No more trekking to Bob Cat or the top of Cabin Hill in hopes of getting a signal. No more panicky thought as you negotiate an icy curve or just miss a deer on a remote road, “If I crash, they won’t find me ‘til spring!” Don’t hold your breath, but Andes may enter the 21st century early in 2009.