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Verizon’s cell tower plan could ruin ‘aesthetic beauty’ of Belmar beaches, mayor says

According to Mayor Gerald Buccafusco, Verizon inked a deal with the prior administration to place 35-foot cell towers near the boardwalk of Belmar’s 20 oceanfront streets.

Bob Doda

May 6, 2023, 2:39 PM

Updated 436 days ago

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Several cell towers may pop up along the beachfront in Belmar – a Verizon plan that has irked some residents and the borough’s mayor is speaking out against.
According to Mayor Gerald Buccafusco, Verizon inked a deal with the prior administration to place 35-foot cell towers near the boardwalk of Belmar’s 20 oceanfront streets.
"I was very upset. It was heartbreaking to me to think we would destroy the aesthetic beauty of our beach here," Buccafusco said. "They said we had already made this agreement with the prior administration, and we are not going to move forward with any other discussions."
Buccafusco has reached out to Verizon on two occasions, but the company’s position has remained unchanged. However, he said a temporary solution could be in the works.
There is no timetable for the construction of the cell towers, although Verizon hopes to have something temporary by summer.
Buccafusco says he will have a presentation on the issue at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
News 12 New Jersey received a statement from Verizon on Friday, saying the locations were extensively vetted and approved by the township over the last five years. They also said the company agreed to install custom designed poles as part of their concession to the township. Residents, however, say it is not enough.
"We are still wondering why it's not in any of the other towns? Why they picked Belmar? We want answers," says resident Dan Rubinetti.
Other people say they are not taking "no" for an answer.
"We put out a petition. Over 1,200 people have signed it and it's growing every single day. We believe this isn't just a Belmar issue -- it's an entire Monmouth County-Jersey Shore issue," said resident Caitlin Donovan.
Verizon says the installments will provide enhanced and reliable service in a strategic manner.
"We come to the beach to get away from our phones. How important is it to post Instagrams when you’re here to relax?" Rubinetti added.


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