Dayton Planning Board

April 20, 2010


Members Present: Remi Caron (Chair), Dan Plourde, Valerie Cole (Alt.)


Others Present: Jim Roberts (CEO), Bob Gashlin of KJK Wireless representing US Cellular



Minutes from April 6, 2010 were read and approved.

Next meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2010. Don Sylvester is on the agenda to discuss removing property on Whispering Willows from subdivision status.


Old Business:

US CELLULAR TOWER- MICROWAVE ANTENNA: Bob Gashlin, representing US Cellular, submitted a CUP application. US Cellular proposes to install a microwave antenna/dish to its existing tower at 34 Tardiff Lane and requests that the original condition prohibiting microwave dishes be removed from its 2005 tower application.


Mr. Gashlin explained that microwave dishes serve three purposes: they provide coverage, communicate with neighboring towers, and communicate back to the central hub or switch. By having a prohibiting condition on this tower, the network’s ability to communicate with the central hub is inhibited. US Cellular plans to use the microwave dish for approximately 18 months, but may have future situations that require its use, such as neighboring towers being down or emergencies. Mr. Gashlin noted that US Cellular wants the ability to use microwaves dishes at that facility, but typically they prefer not to use them. Engineers find that landlines (T1) are less expensive and have the benefit of providing better performance. However, there may be ad hoc circumstances where US Cellular would like to use the tower with a microwave dish.


Remi Caron asked if that meant that US Cellular would like the antenna to remain in place. Mr. Gashlin said the proposal is for18 months and then US Cellular would take it down, but they would like the ability to put it back up for short term use if needed. Dan Plourde questioned whether they would actually take it down and then put it back up. Mr. Gashlin explained that it is a cost issue; this would allow them to use the unit at another site.


Mr. Gashlin noted that US Cellular is not sure why the condition prohibiting microwave dishes was placed six years ago; perhaps it was an issue of aesthetics. US Cellular is proposing a 36-inch wide dish. The size of the dish is relative to the distance it needs to cover to reach other towers.


Mr. Gashlin also addressed the issue of emissions. The microwave dish points straight at its objective, which is another dish. The beam width is very narrow, between 3 and 4 degrees. A radio frequency engineer relayed to US Cellular that there are potentially two levels of exposure: 0.01% of maximum emissions allowed by the FCC at the base of the tower, and 0.02% of maximum emissions allowed at a point 1000 feet from tower. Typically an array emits 3% of the maximum permissible emissions allowed by FCC, so entire emissions from the tower would be 3% for each of the two arrays plus the 0.02% for the microwave dish. The dishes are low power and the FCC does not actively go out and look at such sites because it is such a low level. For such sites, 3300 watts of energy is typical. FM radio towers might be 100,000 watts.


Remi Caron noted there is nothing in the ordinance to prohibit a microwave dish on the tower. There is nothing in prior proceedings that sited microwave dishes specifically. It had been noted at the March 16th meeting that there was a lot of public opposition to the 2005 construction of the tower, seemly because of aesthetic and health concerns. The Board thinks it would be appropriate to have US Cellular present its case to the abutters and general public. A public hearing is scheduled for May 11th, 2010.


Jim Roberts asked if this microwave antenna would have a flashing light. Mr. Gashlin stated that there would be no lights.


New Business: None discussed.


The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.




Valerie J. Cole, Secretary



Remi Caron, Chair

COPIES TO: Jim Roberts, Code Enforcement Officer; Selectmen; and Tax Assessor