Cell tower in Casco Village?

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Most people own a cell phone that travels everywhere they do. Most people expect cell service to be reliable.

A dropped call can be downright frustrating, whether it is an important business transaction or a casual conversation with a friend.

The area known as Casco Village is in a dead zone, an area where cell service is problematic.

“Casco Village, although a hub of activity, it is in a bowl” and doesn’t get good cell phone reception, according to Holly Hancock, the chairman of the Casco Board of Selectmen.

“Because Casco Village has a small population, it’s not attractive to cell companies. It is not a good investment,” she said.

However, the Town of Casco would like to pursue the possibility of installing a small cell phone tower. Right now, this is at the information-gathering stage.

Consultant Dave Libby has been invited to the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday to answer questions about cell tower options.

This discussion will help the selectmen to decide if it is in town’s interest to go forward with a cell tower installation in the Village, Hancock said.

For a few years, Hancock has been negotiating on the behalf of the Casco Village Church. The church signed a non-binding contract with Libby.

So far, Libby has been unable to find a company willing to rebuild the church steeple to make room for a small cell tower, she said.

So, the issue of getting better cell service in the Village still remains.

“The town manager is talking about what we can do to help this out. Can the town install equipment as a way to get better cell coverage? We don’t know,” Hancock said.

“This is an inquiry,” she said.

The installation of a cell tower is worth inquiring about.

To the town’s advantage, the company offering that service pays rental fees to cell tower owners. So, that would be a source of income for the town.

Libby is a private contractor who negotiates with cell providers and those companies that install cell towers.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.; and Libby is listed fairly early on the agenda because a Special Town Meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. that same evening.


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