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Cellular antennas on New Kensington apartment building get OK

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 10:21 p.m.

New Kensington is getting some new cellular antennas.

Council and the mayor on Tuesday unanimously approved a conditional use for T-Mobile to erect three antennas on the roof of a high-rise building along Fourth Avenue.

The vote came after a public hearing, where T-Mobile agent Dave Chrzan shared some plans for the antennas.

“We're proposing to improve coverage to T-Mobile subscribers in the New Kensington area and people that work and travel through the area,” Chrzan said. “We had met with the planning commission for our conditional use approval, and we met all the conditions that were needed. We're asking for final approval.”

Council members asked Chrzan a few questions about the antennas, including when they would be installed. Chrzan said pending approval, the company would start installing the antennas by the spring.

City engineer Anthony Males said the antennas will be on top of the eight-story Citizens Plaza Apartments building at 700 Fourth Ave. They will be 10 feet tall.

He said because New Kensington is in a valley, there can be dead spots, and the antennas will help with that.

“There actually will be three antennas that work in a group as one,” Males said. “It's to provide better, localized service.”

Males said the city prefers antennas because they are low profile compared to cell towers, which can be 100 to 150 feet tall. He said there already is a Verizon antenna on top of the building. That antenna is also 10 feet tall.

No one attending Tuesday's meeting spoke during the public comment sections. Males said he wasn't surprised by that.

“They're relatively not obtrusive compared to a tower,“ he said. “The towers really stand out. There's an existing one up there for Verizon, and it's the same thing. Very limited opposition or concern by most of the residents.”

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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