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Locals Continue Protest Against Saw Mill Towers in Pleasantville

The Department of Transportation is continuing to review the issue.

Pleasantville officials met with New York State Department of Transportation representatives Friday to discuss the locally unpopular proposal to install traffic-monitoring towers along the Saw Mill River Parkway.

The towns of New Castle and Mount Pleasant were also represented in the most recent discussions, according to Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer.

"I was extremely clear that Pleasantville's board is opposed to the microwave tower project, and our neighboring communities reported the same, unequivocal message on behalf of their town councils," Scherer said in an email to Pleasantville residents Monday evening. "It's apparent that DOT is well aware of the pressure coming from all fronts."

The proposal, which includes seven towers averaging 120-feet-tall to be built along the parkway in the three Westchester County municipalities, has been met with strong resistance by village residents and officials for the past few weeks.

Last week, Department of Transportation Spokesperson Sue Stepp told Patch no building plans were immiment, and the proposed tower at Grant Street was under consideration for an alternative plan.

As of the Friday meeting, Scherer stated, "The DOT reps indicated that they won't respond to us until they have finished their review of the issues...both within DOT Region 8 (which includes Westchester) and at the DOT Commissioner's office in Albany. We demanded a timeline for that process, which I expect early in the week."

Over the weekend, residents held a meeting at the Mount Pleasant Public Library, where Rich Sarfaty said "aesthetic, health, safety, property values," along with "privacy concerns" were identified as reasons to stop the project.

Locals opposed to the project plan in Pleasantville, Mount Pleasant and Chappaqua are also planning to distribute flyers at local train stations this week.

"I’m very happy our elected officials are putting pressure on DOT, that’s as it should be," commented Mark Markarian, who has been spearheading resident efforts to rally against the proposal. "But in order for that pressure to work, the residents of Pleasantville (and the other communities affected by these towers) must continue to organize and grow our opposition to this plan by informing our neighbors and that takes a lot of work."

While Scherer said DOT officials mentioned they "might do previously scheduled site preparation over the next couple of weeks," he added, "We discouraged that as a waste of time and money spent on a project that needs to be canceled."

The mayor said he will update residents at the February 27 board of trustees meeting, while residents plan to meet again on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the United Methodist Church.

Amy February 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Church meeting is at 1pm. We also have a Yahoo group to organize information http://groups.yahoo.com/group/westchestermicrowavetowers/ as well as a Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_336037476435068&src=email_ Online petition: http://m.ipetitions.com/#petition/weschestermicrowavetowers Please join us in the fight. Every person makes a difference.
Joe Taxpayer February 21, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Right on, Mayor! Waste of money for sure!
Dan February 21, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Wow, spending more taxpayer's money to "monitor" the traffic. How about spending a fraction of that on signs at the entrances to the parkways that say "LOW BRIDGES" and trucks will stay off them, because "passenger cars only" hasn't worked in the history of these parkways. But that will never happen because of the fines that are collected when a truck hits a bridge.
DepewSt February 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Village Meeting is on the 27th not the 27th.
Sarah Studley (Editor) February 21, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thanks! It has been corrected.
concerned taxpayer February 21, 2012 at 04:16 PM
From what I understand, Germany has outlawed these towers in any residential area because they pose a serious health threat. We do not want our children being guinea pigs in a microwave experiment. The towers would also be an eyesore in our beautiful community. Lastly, the towers are unnecessary. You can monitor traffic on the saw mill by logging into google maps. This is just an absurd proposal altogether. Spend the money on fixing the flooding problem instead.
Chris Marengo February 21, 2012 at 04:26 PM
We need all residents of Mount Pleasant (Thornwood, Hawthorne & Pleasantville), as well as businesses in the area, to join the fight against this unnecessary monstrosity. Cellphone and GPS technologies today, available to everyone with a pulse, have rendered these 125ft towers obsolete.
Loretta Marengo February 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Amy - My husband Chris and I will be there! We are behind you and everyone 100% in fighting this!
KATHY C. February 22, 2012 at 03:58 AM
So for the Village that was just voted "most pleasant smelling" in the world... THIS REALLY STINKS! Not only are the children and residents going to be exposed to health risks, this intersection at Grant Street is a death trap to begin with with the car accidents that occur there! Pleasantville prides itself on its quaintness and beauty. To put this here is just incomprehensible eye sore. If they want to monitor the traffic, how about the county police monitor it from Grant Street? I just cannot believe that it has come to this point; it's disgusting that DOT could even think about doing this... The worse part... it will be years until all the effects of this tower are realized and unfortunately by then, it may be too late... the damage will be done to human life.
Amy February 22, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Kathy and all. I couldn't agree more! It is an unnecessary risk to our health, privacy, safety and financial standing. Who is watching us from the joystick controlled cameras? How far can they zoom in? And the radiation exposure is so new. Some studies show serious adverse health effects. Even if they tell me it's safe (and NYS has not even done an environmental impact study!) I won't raise my children under this. This side of town will become abandoned as people just walk away from their homes after people start to get sick. Or property values drop so much it's not possible to sell.
Somebody here February 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM
You all are so immature. The cameras aren't controlled by anybody, its a fixed camera and can normally be viewed by anyone. And you are all concerned with microwaves and health factors, get rid of all the cell phones you have and any other wireless device you might have. There are tons of frequencies going through the air at any given moment. How do you think goggle gets it's data for the traffic, people standing on the side of the road? No they use data that they get from the DOT. Before you all have a mass panic, do some legitimate research on this stuff and then decide.
Chris Marengo February 23, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Good point "Somebody Here". Give us your address and since you're volunteering, the DOT can place the 125 foot towers...all 7 of them...right in front of your house.
Amy February 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
As per the mayor of Pleasantville, cameras are joystick controlled. You can watch the board meeting online on PC76. Google it. Guessing you are somehow involved with the project. All other factors aside, this completely blows our zoning laws out of the water. This is a little village not a city. The nuclear radiation expert that Fox 5 interviewed did not think this was a good idea either. But maybe he doesn't know what he is talking about either?
Deana February 23, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Chris, you cracked me up, love your comment about "Somebody Here" who obviously needs to do some research as Microwave Radiation does have negative health effects. Personally, the towers will affect me directly as my house is at the same height as where the microwave emissions with be coming from. I didn't build my green dream house here just to get bombarded with unwanted radiation.
Don February 23, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I think the Mayor agrees - its the State and the Federal that seems to be spending the money on this foolish project.
Don February 23, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I completely agree with your comment about using Google Maps and getting the flooding problem fixed. Question - can you find any information on what you said about Germany outlawing these towers in residential areas? That would be great to show the government officials here!
Don February 23, 2012 at 04:01 AM
You know, forgetting about your callous attitude about other people's concerns, you better check your facts about presuming Google gets their data from DOT - Wrong! The Google data is scraped from cell phone emissions picked up by passing traffic and is quite accurate. Why does the DOT insist on a state-run infrastructure using your tax dollars to point cameras at cars all day long if Google already gives this information out for free? Maybe you don't care about other's sensibilities, but I bet you care about saving tax dollars - who knows, maybe you might even sign the petition using that perspective - give it a thought!

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