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The Bridgewater Township Council in New Jersey approved an amendment to the wireless communications facilities ordinance encouraging tower companies to build towers only on municipal properties. This change is a result of a settlement between the town and T-Mobile regarding a proposal that was rejected by the zoning board in May 2012. Ben Horvath recently explored the shift in perception from town officials who now want these towers on city land rather than private property. Bud Blinick, President of Cell at Auction, a company who represents local municipalities in negotiations with wireless carriers, told Horvath these deals often benefit both the carrier and local government. “It’s easier for carriers to go through municipalities and get equipment installed on public property, rather than jumping through a lot of hoops, like licenses, zoning and approval,” Blinick said. “Municipalities want these deals because they’re realizing they can use the income to fund public programs, like education and schooling and do so in a way that avoids raising taxes,” he said. The Bridgewater Township officials clearly agree. Even though the original proposal from T-Mobile was denied, the township ultimately approved a request to build the tower at the Bridgewater Township Library. The newly approved amendment does not require companies to apply for variances if the tower will be built on municipal property.
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