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Talks continued Wednesday on proposals from three cellular phone companies to erect three towers in the town.

All three plans were discussed by the Sheridan Zoning Board of Appeals.

American Tower of Syracuse has already been given the go-ahead for a 150-foot tower on Old Main Road, but the board and several residents have raised concerns about building a tower on Strawser Road, which is one mile away from the North County Airport. The main concern about the proposed Strawser Road tower is that it would be in a flight path.

Nextel of Rochester and Crown Atlantic of Rochester want to build 150-foot towers on O'Brien Road, but have agreed to co-locate antennas on one tower. Crown Atlantic is seeking to build another tower on New Road. The Airport Commission is trying to get Crown Atlantic to find a new location on New Road.

"Crown is more than willing to work with us," said Kenneth Brentley, Chautauqua County Department of Public Works director of public facilities. The department oversees operations at both airports in the county.

"I was impressed with Crown's homework and presentation -- very professional. I wish more people would have presentations like that," Brentley said.

Code Officer James Crowell said because the North County Airport is in Sheridan, the companies must be aware of Federal Aviation Administration lighting requirements.

The FAA does not require towers shorter than 200 feet to be equipped with lights, but Crowell said the FAA can change that requirement at any time.

"American Tower's location is very unacceptable," he added. "It's in the no-build area. We really don't agree with the FAA."

Brentley requested that the board ask American Tower to work with the commission to find an alternative site.

"We are investigating a number of sites outside the flight patterns. We are aware of your concerns," said attorney Daniel Spitzer, of Hodgson Russ Andrews Woods & Goodyear, the firm representing American Tower.

The board received a petition from 23 Strawser Road residents against the tower.

"It's a danger to planes, and it's a danger to the residents," Marilyn Wise said of the proposed tower.

The board wants to minimize the number of towers in the town and wants the companies to negotiate with the Airport Commission about site alternatives, Chairman Ed Hamlet said. It will review the proposals at its next meeting.

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