Verizon Wireless plans to start building a telecommunications tower this year at a site in Canton Township.

It's aimed at improving Verizon Wireless service in and around the Canton area.

According to John O'Malley, public relations manager for the Upstate New York Region of Verizon Wireless, the 195-foot tower will be built at a site off North Minnequa Street.

When asked for comment, O'Malley stated, "We are planning to build the Canton Township site this year, but we don't have a construction date yet. We're in the process of updating the permits to reflect some changes in state regulations. There's also a fair amount of additional back-office work we need to do before we put the site out to bid for construction. We also need to work it into our overall construction schedule."

"Long story short, we do plan to build the site this year, but I don't have a date for when that (will) take place."

In October 2010, the Bradford County Planning Commission gave preliminary approval to the project.

A letter to the planning commission from Nixon Peabody LLP, the legal firm writing on behalf of Verizon Wireless, noted that Verizon Wireless currently has "inadequate service in and around the Canton area," and the tower is meant to remedy the situation.

Robert Kosmer of Canton Township, who said he assisted the late Sanford Reedy in petitioning Verizon Wireless for the tower, said, "I think it's way overdue." He added that Reedy did the bulk of the work regarding the petition.

Regarding the need for an improvement in service, Kosmer commented that a lot of people are "right here in the hole, and they can't do anything until they get to Troy or Trout Run."

Kosmer said he thought people "kind of gave up" on their hopes that the project would move forward, but he was encouraged by the latest news.

According to its website, Verizon Wireless operates "the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network."

The company is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., and is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; e-mail: reviewtroy@thedailyreview.com.