Radio Tower Takedown Incomplete

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towerThe bigger they are, the harder they fall.

For weeks, residents near Munsey Park have been battling to bring down a controversial 190-foot radio antenna on the village’s border near Flower Hill. Officials said it would come down in November, but with December in full bloom, at least half of the $200,000 tower—about 60 feet of it—still remains, the district said.

Donald O’Brien, chairman of the water commissioners, said the long-awaited deconstruction of the tower finally began last Thursday – but had to come to an abrupt halt because of weather conditions.

“When they started Thursday morning, it took an hour and a half to knock off ice before they got going,” he said. “They’re going to come back next week to finish. It’s just a matter of seeing how the weather is because they still have to rent the crane.”

O’Brien said a private contractor was hired to take down the tower, but they needed advanced notice before getting to work because they needed to rent the crane needed for the $55,000 job. And between the cold weather and earlier sunsets, it has been difficult to get crews out with enough time to take down the tower.

“Weather permitting, it’ll be gone by next week,” O’Brien said. “You just have to take away the lower part.”

The tower was built back in early October in accordance with a bigger project to improve radio communications between emergency workers and town and village officials, the water district said. But Manhasset residents surrounding the area deemed the tower an eyesore in what was otherwise an open and soothing landscape.

O’Brien proposed a resolution back in October to remove the tower all together, which the Manhasset Lakeville Water District passed unanimously Oct. 29. The water district chairman was re-elected to his position just last week, but the tower still stood – sparking concerns that he was not following through on his promise.

Munsey Park’s Mayor Frank DeMento acknowledged the process necessary to remove the controversial eyesore and said he was optimistic for the future of the open space. According to DeMento, the earlier November date to take down the crane was postponed to this month because of crews running into mechanical problems with the crane.

But one way or the other, he said, that tower was finally coming down.

“The water district has been in constant communication,” DeMento said. “I’m sure it is a little frustrating that they passed the resolution so long ago about taking the tower down, but they did say they’re going to try and do it by the end of November, or the very least the end of December.”

O’Brien said the water district would consider other uses for the tower by searching for other places in the 10.2-square-mile district once it is taken down and returned to its original packaging from which it came. The district isn’t sure when they will remove the last piece yet.

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