Monday, December 7, 2009

Legal Maybe, Unethical for Sure: Hanshaw Road Cell Tower Project

Note: In October 2013 I was contacted by XXXX and asked to take down this post. I have removed all instances of their name.

The XXXX cell tower project on Hanshaw Road behind Ludgate’s Farms Store just keeps whittling away at the surrounding landscape.
I spoke to Mike Ludgate today, and he told me a sleazy tale.

Seems that XXXX needed to take down some of Ludgate’s full-grown trees for an electric power right of way (see photo, taken today) as a followup, not-mentioned-earlier, environmentally-negative impact of this project.

Did they contact Mike, who runs the family business at this location?
No. They found his mom’s phone number and called her.
(Yes, she is the landowner.)

They told her that they “had to have” a right of way agreement signed by her in order to cut down the trees. She said that she could not come to their office, because she had just had surgery and was on medications that prevented her from driving.

“Oh no problem, ma’am,” they replied, and they were over there in a flash, and obtained her signature. Mike found out about this action two weeks later.

Now they have taken out full-grown trees on his property to accomodate higher power poles, leaving one tree-depth as a screen for his property from the road.

Earlier, I was feeling resigned about the fact that they apparently put up the incorrect, non-“green” type of tower at this site, as a technician informed Mike casually last month as the tower was completed.

Now, I want to know: What is the tower they were supposed to put up?
What will it take to require them to take the incorrect one down, and put up the correct one?

I also want to know what additional impacts are planned for this site, that are already resulting in excessive destruction of wildlife habitat and degradation of the wildlife corridor between the Fall Creek Unique Natural Area and the Sapsucker Woods Unique Natural Area.

Is XXXX behaving in an underhanded and punitive manner toward Mike Ludgate and this neighborhood, for having tried to stop this bad project in this vulnerable, neighborhood location?

As Friends of Hanshaw said in their comments on this project, this “upgrade” will benefit only Ithaca residents.
It is already having negative effects on Dryden residents.