Mobile phone users will get belated gift
Story by Jon Dinan
HANKINS January 1 Two years ago George Manno was contacted by AT&T and asked if he would be interested in leasing the company a portion of his property on Henderson Road in Hankins.
It was the phone carrier’s wish to erect a cellular service tower that would provide cellular coverage to several towns on and around Route 97 in Sullivan County.
“A design team examined the area and determined that extra power was needed, and a site in Hankins would provide the necessary range of coverage,” said AT&T Regional Public Relations Manager Ellen Webner.
Manno happily accepted the offer of the telecommunications conglomerate and the project was set in motion.
“I was very glad to see them when they showed up. They were very accomodating. I was also thoroughly impressed by some of the acrobatic work they did,” said Manno.
The Manno family has called the hamlet of Hankins their home for several generations spanning over 60 years, and they are well aware of certain technological limitations in their bucolic community.
“Better cell and internet service is something the area desperately needs, it sometimes feels like we’re living in the dark ages,” said Manno. “There are hunters, loggers, fishermen and other people on the river that run a very high risk by operating with no cell service.”
Currently, AT&T is the only service provider planning to broadcast from the tower, but others may sign on at any time.
The tower now stands 198 feet high atop a mountain just down the road from the Manno residence.
The tower is virtually complete and according to Manno the projected date on which the tower will be operational has been pushed back several times, but he predicts it will come soon.