At the Oct. 10 meeting of the Planning Board, the board approved the applications for T-Mobile and AT&T to construct temporary cell towers behind Parker Greenhouse and at Ashbrook Nursing Home.
What both T-Mobile and AT&T are planning to do are is build a temporary cellular tower at each location while PSE&G removes their current towers for upgrades.
Both providers will put their antennas on the temporary towers, since they have been ordered to remove them from current PSE&G towers.
The towers will be up for two years and will begin construction once they receive building permits, expected June 2013.
The Planning Board approved the applications with a few stipulations such as the time frame and the deconstruction of the temporary towers.
The tower on the Terrill Road location will be adjacent to the current PSE&G breakaway and will use the already existing driveway for utility vehicles.
The only additions to the site would be a cabinet for T-Mobile and a trailer for AT&T.
The same addition will be added to the lot at the Ashbrook Nursing Home site, which will be located in the rear parking lot.
The existing towers will be within the location of the current PSE&G towers.
Joseph Menio and Ivan Joseph, Radio Frequency Engineers from both T-Mobile and AT&T, noted that in order to keep cellular service for customers in Scotch Plains they would have to construct the temporary towers for the time PSE&G is completing upgrades.
The two sites will be decommissioned once PSE&G has constructed their updated towers.
Timothy M. Kronk, a professional planner in New Jersey, pointed out that in a recent survey, 30% of people cited not using a landline.
Attorney for both companies, Gregory Meese, said the reason they were presenting to the board was because they are looking for a solution to a problem put on them by PSE&G.
"I think this was a great common sense approach," Zoning Officer, Robert LaCosta said.
Kronk, Menio and Joseph all pointed out that a large amount of 911 calls are also made from cell phones, which Coronato said if nothing else the applications need to be approved for safety.
After recalling Mr. Kronk's fact about how many people are relying on cell phones, Chairwoman Paulette Coronato said, "I think in today's world we are so connected to everything technological, it would be negligent not to approve it."
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