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Board Instructs AT&T to Collect More Noise Data for Proposed Cell Antennas on Buxton Road

By Ed Barmakian

Friday, March 21, 2014 • 11:55pm

CHATHAM, NJ - There was a lot of discussion about how much noise will be produced if AT&T receives permission to install 12 cell antennas on the American Water Co. tower located behind 63 Buxton Road in Chatham Township.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday decided to require more data from AT&T noise expert Matt Murello, who will provide the information at the next board meeting set for 7:30 p.m. on April 9. Murello will provide the decibel level of the equipment needed to power the antennas -  without any sound barriers to buffer the noise.

The Board of Adjustment does not expect to vote on the variances being requested by AT&T until its May meeting. Before the vote, residents were assured they will get a chance to voice their objections to the antennas being placed in a residential zone.

Murello testified on Thursday that he visited the Buxton Road neighborhood on Feb. 27 for a half hour at about 10 a.m. and then at 11:30 p.m. at night. He said that the DBA levels were between 42 and 49 in the morning and 40 and 49 at night. State law requires that DBA levels be no higher than 50.

According to Murello, AT&T is proposing a 9 1/2 foot high wood fence that would surround the equipment needed to power the antennas. It would also be placed within five feet of the fence that borders the American Water Co. property.

Murello said the barrier would keep the decibel level measured as DBA at 42. Judy Fairweather, attorney for AT&T, guaranteed it would measure as Murello said. Murello has been testifying in cell antenna cases before boards for 20 years.

AT&T is trying to close a gap in its coverage that would be closed by placing 12 antennas on the existing NJ America Water Co. tower at 63 Buxton Road. The area AT&T is trying to cover is a point-nine mile stretch northeast of the tower.

Brad Weisgerber talks about the noise the cell antennas will generate neat his home

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Katie Weisgerber asks about less the gap area AT&T is trying to fill

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Matt Murello responds to questioning about noise levels from Brad Weisgerber

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Matt Murello testifies about noise level tests he took in Buxton Road neighorhood

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