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NYC tower troubles

Work on the broadcast tower in Alpine, N.J., to accommodate five New York City TV stations that have temporarily relocated there after being knocked off the World Trade Center was stopped Oct. 19 by town officials due to the absence of proper construction permits.

Within days of the WTC's collapse, the Alpine Tower Co., which owns the broadcast tower, began installing additional antennas and other gear for the displaced stations—WABC-TV, WNBC(TV), noncommercial WNET(TV), Telemundo's WNJU-TV and Tribune's WPIX(TV).

But, in ordering the stoppage, borough officials said such work requires the proper approval, which the company failed to get.

Last Monday (Oct. 22), a lawyer for Alpine Tower went before the Board of Adjustment in Alpine seeking a variance that would permit the company to continue work. He also outlined a plan to make the 400-foot-high tower 500 feet, which would improve signal coverage.

Borough officials also voiced concerns about the higher levels of radiation that have been detected since the additional stations arrived last month. No decisions were made. The next session is set for Nov. 5.

The displaced broadcasters have commissioned a study to determine if they can move to permanent facilities on the Empire State Building.