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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 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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