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Colrain voters OK land for cell tower

COLRAIN — By a 26-1 vote, special town meeting voters Monday night agreed to let the Board of Selectmen lease land at the town transfer station for construction of what could be the town’s first cell tower.

That could presage a big change for a town with very limited cell phone coverage.

According to Town Coordinator Kevin Fox, the board has already put out requests for proposals, in hopes that telecommunications businesses will be interested in serving the town. Fox said the proposals are due in the town office by Jan. 21. The proposals may be reviewed by selectmen at their Jan. 27 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the town office.

In September, AT&T contacted town officials to see if it could locate a cell tower on transfer station land, which is located off Route 112, near the Colrain-Shelburne border. Fox said that town zoning bylaws would require a special permit process for the siting of a tower.

Monday night’s vote paves the way for AT&T or any others in the open bidding process because it allows selectmen to lease transfer station property for cell tower development and it allows them to lease the land for up to 20 years.

Currently, cell phones cannot be used in most parts of town. Residents are hoping that having a cell tower in town will improve cell-phone reception. Also, leasing the land for a cell tower would generate revenue for the town.

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