An arrow points to a trial balloon over Bell Hill in Otisfield where Verizon Wireless proposes to install a 120-foot cellphone tower. Photo by Lindsey Montana Buy this Photo

OTISFIELD — Seven years after U.S. Cellular scuttled a proposed cellphone tower, Verizon Wireless is taking a shot at it.

About 30% of residents have adequate cellphone coverage and a new tower would boost that number significantly.

Verizon set up a balloon Nov. 21 to see the visual impact of a 120-foot tower at 264 Bell Hill Road on property leased from Ronald Balistreri. It has not released the results of its test.

“We’re very early in the process,” Code Enforcement Officer Fred Collins said. “Verizon will appear before the Planning Board on Dec. 22. They have not filled out any permit applications yet. It will take several meetings to review their proposal.”

U.S. Cellular’s 2012 plan to place a 180-foot communications tower on Scribner Hill Road raised the ire of some residents, who organized a group called Friends of Scribner Hill. They said town officials failed to properly notify all the abutters about the project’s previous public hearings and disregarded public input.

The group appealed the permit approved by the Planning Board in July 2012 in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris. After a yearlong battle that included Friends of Scribner Hill filing four appeals and Otisfield paying more than $40,000 in legal fees, U.S. Cellular dropped its plan.

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