Verizon cell service in East Marion is about to get better.
The East Marion Fire District has submitted an application to add Verizon Wireless to its existing 110-foot tower located behind the firehouse. The Mattituck Fire District is also in the process of constructing its own communication structure.
The Southold Town Planning Board discussed both proposals at its meeting on Monday and found the East Marion application is ready for review once the fire district pays the remaining balance of the application fee.
Town planner Brian Cummings said the size of the tower, which currently carries T-Mobile and AT&T, won’t change. However, he said the plan does include adding a diesel generator and other equipment, as well as landscaping.
“This will have a public hearing because it’s expanding the compound,” Mr. Cummings said about the proposal.
As for Mattituck, a new communications pole — complete with emergency transmittal services and wireless providers like Verizon — is under construction and will replace an existing 20-year-old pole.
Fire district officials have requested the application process be expedited since the tower will be delivered on Nov. 16 and they’d like to have construction completed before the winter weather rolls in.
Planning Board president Donald Wilcenski said the earliest a decision could be made would be Dec. 7, about two weeks later, since a consultant’s review of the proposal is in the works.
“I feel more comfortable to have the evaluation from CityScape before we give the OK,” he said. “We don’t make it a practice to have special meetings.”
The rest of the Planning Board agreed to wait for the consultant’s report. Member Bill Cremers, who’s retired from working at Verizon, recused himself from both discussion on Mattituck and East Marion’s applications.