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Nextel Communications wants nine 4-foot-high antennas built on top of the Village of Alden's Maple Ridge Road water tower in efforts to improve cellular phone, two-way radio and paging service.

Trustees were told Thursday night by Nextel leasing and zoning specialist Jeffrey Scherzer that the company wants to work out a lease deal with the village for using the 10-year-old, 65-foot tall water tower before moving ahead with a proposed site plan.

"We looked towards a water tank on a high ground area," Scherzer said. "We're avoiding the need to build a tower. We can build antennas on the tank."

He said the firm will work to prevent the antennas from being eyesores to neighbors. Scherzer said the footwide antennas can be painted to blend in with the surrounding residential Maple Ridge Road area.

"We realize that there are residents in the area, so we want to be tasteful," Scherzer said.

He said that the antennas will help to improve telecommunications service within a three-mile radius of the water towers but will not interfere with television reception for residents. Scherzer told trustees that Nextel has four or five water-tank antennas installed in upstate New York.

"The only type of concerns we see on these sites are aesthetic concerns," Scherzer said.

He said Nextel will move ahead with antenna construction as soon as it gets a lease agreement and site plan approved by the village. Mayor Michael Retzlaff said residents will be updated on the project.

"We will have residents involved in the final approval,"Retzlaff said.

Trustees, by a 5-0 vote, also approved:

Extension of a temporary certificate of occupancy for the new Tops Market Inc. supermarket on Broadway in the village until Jan. 14. Tops recently moved into an expanded store from a smaller nearby site on Broadway.

A one-year contract for ambulance service with Town's Ambulance Inc., which is doing business as Rural Metro. The contract is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2000.

Creation of a village account for a $19,144 state grant for a Village and Town of Alden Youth Court.

The resignation of Acting Village Justice Sue Schumacher. Retzlaff said the position has not been filled by the village.

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