Neighbors disagree and say 26 homes surround the proposed site. They argue that the tower would devalue their residential property, detract from the character of the village, and should be located elsewhere.
Several said they get cell phone service in the Route 7 corridor, thus the tower is unnecessary.
"More than 100 people have signed petitions opposing the tower," resident Ellen Berson said Tuesday.
The Connecticut Siting Council, which has jurisdiction over the location of cell towers, will hold a public hearing Dec. 18 on the tower application.
There will be a site walk at 3 p.m., and Verizon will fly a balloon during the field review to simulate the height of the proposed tower. The hearing will begin at 4 p.m. in the New Milford High School cafeteria, 388 Danbury Road.
This session is for the applicant, parties and intervenors, but is also open to the public. The New Milford Zoning Commission has filed as an intervenor.
A 7 p.m. session is reserved for the public to make brief statements into the record.
Berson, who lives across the road from the proposed site, said, "This tower violates the historic and rural character of this meadow, which lies in the heart of historic Gaylordsville. The tower is surrounded by historic homes and buildings. South Kent Road is the gateway to Gaylordsville."
"I use my cell phone perfectly well," Berson added.
She told the Zoning Commission in January that the proposed tower's impact on Gaylordsville would have the same effect as a 120-foot tower on the New Milford Green.
Zoning Commission members have questioned whether a new tower is the best option for improving cell service in the area. They said Verizon has to prove its needs can't be met using an existing structure or that there is no better alternative location. They suggested Verizon explore using CL&P's existing towers in the vicinity.
Town officials note the firehouse, fuel storage tanks and equipment would be in the fall zone of the tower, but Doug Roberts, the Verizon project manager, said the tower could be pre-engineered to have the top 50 feet fall on itself in an emergency situation, allowing for a shorter fall zone below.
Verizon consultants argue there is a large area with "spotty, unreliable" service for cell phone users along Route 7 between its existing 180-foot tower on Bull's Bridge Road and a 150-foot tower disguised as a tree off Boardman Road.
Ken Baldwin, an attorney with Robinson & Cole who is representing Verizon, has said the Gaylordsville area is difficult for line-of-sight technology. He notified town officials in August that his client completed additional research and "concluded, for several reasons, that the original tower proposal should proceed."
He said that research would be submitted to the Siting Council.
Those seeking to be named as a party or intervenor to the proceeding must file a written request at the office of the Connecticut Siting Council, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051, on or before Tuesday.
Others may file a written statement with the council at the Dec. 18 hearing or up to 30 days thereafter.
A copy of the application is available for review at the council's office. Call (860) 827-2935.