BETHEL - Spring Hill Lane resident Steve Mitchell is worried about his neighborhood. AT&T Wireless and Valley Communications want to replace a cell tower near his house with a much taller one. That doesn't sit well with Mitchell. He and other residents voiced their objections to the Connecticut Siting Council at a hearing Wednesday. Unlike AT&T and Valley, Mitchell said, "our agenda is not based on profit but on the quality of life in our neighborhood." Paul Szatkowski, a resident of nearby Winthrop Road where the proposed tower also would be visible, told the council not to "destroy our neighborhood." The high voltage power line approved by the council last year will have a strong impact on the neighborhood Szatkowski said, and, like other speakers, he said there are alternate areas in town where the tower could be located. First Selectman Alice Hutchinson agreed."This is not a bad application, but it's in a bad place," Hutchinson said. "I ask the applicant to consider other alternatives." Hutchinson suggested several industrial sites, such as the Berkshire Industrial Park, or town land including the Terre Haute property. But technical consultants brought in by AT&T said many of the sites wouldn't fit the bill. "We looked at other sites in other zones," said J. Christopher Fagas, a radio frequency engineer who said the sites are too far away to provide adequate, reliable service. AT&T and Valley - the latter is the owner of the present tower and the 1.6 acres on which it stands - made their application on Feb. 19 with the council, which has six months from that date to make a decision. The council closed the hearing in Bethel on Wednesday but left the record open for 30 days to accept any written statements about the application. Under the application, AT&T and Valley want to replace the existing 90-foot lattice tower with a monopole that is 130 feet tall and would have 18-foot "whip antennas" on top, bringing the total height to 148 feet. Carriers on the current tower include Yankee Gas, Nextel and the town's Public Works and Police departments. The applicants argue the existing tower is structurally inadequate to hold more carriers. If the proposed tower is approved, AT&T and possibly other cellular phone services, such as Sprint, would go on the new structure. Bethel Police Department would occupy the top spot on a new tower, and police Capt. Robert Cedergren made a strong appeal to council to approve the application. Cedergren said the police department has a large scale radio improvement project under way and "any increase in (tower) height is an improvement for us." Cedergren said although he is "sensitive to the needs of the neighbors, my concern is the safety of the officers." Several Spring Hill Lane residents, such as James Kelleher and William Huertas, became intervenors in the application and had the right to cross examine AT&T and Valley. Kelleher questioned the applicants about the 5,600-square-foot compound that would be built at the foot of the proposed tower and was told it would be six to seven times larger than the present compound."At what point would you stop expansion at that site?" Kelleher asked. Paul Zito, owner of Valley Communications, said the planned compound should be big enough even if more carriers go on the proposed tower than expected. Contact Marietta Homayonpour at email@example.com or at (203) 731-3336.