June 14, 2006

Camp Hero Tower Prompts A Question

A Montauk resident expressed concerns to the East Hampton Town Board recently, worrying that the 90-foot-tower (above) is being used to monitor personal cell phone conversations. Sited at Camp Hero on state land, the retrofitted fire tower sports several new communications antennas. According to the town's wireless expert Kathy Radziewicz, they're for relaying, not intercepting transmissions.

While the new retrofit may have caused area residents to raise brows, the new towers sent Radziewicz to the phone. Recently, the U.S. Coast Guard revealed plans to construct the soaring communications tower on town property near the Montauk Landfill. For close to two years federal officials searched for the appropriate property for the 300-foot tall Rescue 21 tower.

According to Radziewicz, Camp Hero was rejected as a potential home because of its historic significance. If the feds would permit a revenue–generating communications tower, why not Rescue 21, she reasoned. As of press time, the town's cell tower czar hadn't heard back from the feds about the idea.

The goal of Rescue 21 is to provide seamless coverage for rescuers looking for threatened vessels.

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