October 13, 2020
Town of Heath
1 East Main St.
Heath, MA 01346
Dear Select Board members,
The purpose of this letter is to express my opposition to WiValley constructing a 60-foot utility pole on South Road, including wires and fixtures and underground laterals, cables and wires above or intersecting public ways, on South Schoolhouse Road in Heath, according to the petition from the FHMS Four Town Broadband Network.
I believe that Heath should reject this proposal for the following reasons:
According to the press release issued April 3, 2019 a grant was issued to bring broadband to 96% of residents in the towns of Florida, Hawley, Monroe, and Savoy. The grant was awarded for “creative, flexible solutions.”
(http://www.townofhawley.com/wp-content/uploads/docs/Broadband/Four-Towns/MBI-Four-Towns-Wireless-Funding-Press-Release.pdf). I think that the FHMS and WiValley should be tasked with coming up with just such a creative solution for the households impacted. In the next hearing they should also be asked as well if they have already achieved the 96% level without the Heath pole, which should also minimize its importance for achieving their goals. Keep in mind that their goals in any case do not take into account the negative impact to Heath, as outlined above.
The Select Board, as stewards of the Town of Heath’s interests, should also consider that residents of Legate Hill in Charlemont filed a lawsuit in consideration of the negative impact on scenic beauty and property values; the location was eventually deemed unsuitable but the issues were similar (https://www.recorder.com/Legate-Hill-residents-file-lawsuit-over-WiFi-25706649).
I understand the importance of internet access but believe that the four towns and WiValley should come up with a solution for those homes without marring the beauty of our landscape and putting us in harm’s way.
There are many complex issues that you face related to town finances, building use and more. I appreciate the work you do and the time it takes. This is a much simpler issue. Just say no.
Thank you for your consideration.
222 South Road
Heath, MA 01346