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  • Maine legislature overrides veto of bill that would allow for new cellphone tower in St. John Valley

     The Maine Legislature on April 11th overrode Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to improve cellphone reception in Aroostook County by allowing the construction of a new cellphone tower.

    Cell phone and broadband coverage will help grow Maine's economy by attracting people to Maine to do business as well as keeping educated workers in the state. Read more about Broadband in Maine HERE.

    Rep. Roland “Danny” Martin brought forward legislation to amend a state deed to allow the Sinclair Sanitary District to lease land to a telecommunications company. As the deed is currently written, the land cannot be leased to a private company, even if the public benefits.

    “This bill was endorsed by a number of businesses and individuals in our community. I am very pleased that the Maine Legislature came together to override the governor’s veto,” said Martin, D-Sinclair. “A new cellphone tower is critical to our area, not only for economic development but also public safety.”

    The bill, LD 1659, authorizes the Sinclair Sanitary District to lease a portion of that land to Bay Communications II, LLC, to build a commercial cell tower.

    “Building this tower will greatly benefit residents of Aroostook County and bring in much-needed revenue to our area,” said Martin. “Improved cellphone coverage will help local businesses and residents and allow emergency services to function better.”

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers from Aroostook County cosponsored the legislation. Martin’s original bill was folded into legislation brought forward by the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.

    The House voted 144-2 and the Senate voted 35-0 to override the veto.

    Martin is House chair of the State and Local Government Committee and also serves on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. He returned to the Maine House, having previously served one term in the House and two in the Senate.