‘I’m fed up.' Frustrations mount over cellphone dead zones in Orange County 

If you live or work in Orange County, you may know that cellphone dead zones can be a huge problem.  

Blaise Gomez

Aug 15, 2023, 10:10 PM

Updated 338 days ago


If you live or work in Orange County, you may know that cellphone dead zones can be a huge problem.  
“This isn’t 1923, It’s 2023. Orange County is a fairly built-up part of the universe here, and it’s crazy that there’s not cell service,” says Sen. James Skoufis.  
Skoufis is talking about sections of Route 6, the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Route 293 that have no service at all.  
“If there’s some sort of emergency along that stretch, you can’t call someone if you literally can’t call someone,” says Skoufis.  
The senator says a tower put in at Harriman State Park last year hasn’t helped like officials thought it would and that talks are in the works with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and Verizon to add a second one. 
In the Town of Highland Falls, Skoufis says several lawsuits filed by a resident are holding up plans to get much-needed service in that area. 
“People live there,” says Skoufis. “We have residents who literally can’t use cellphones in an entire town because of one individual unparticular who is taking upon herself to advance conspiracy theories.”  
News 12 reached out to the woman behind the litigation, Deborah Kopald, for comment. She said that cellphone towers need to be planned and shouldn’t be on historic buildings, near homes, schools or places people frequent.
"Municipalities need to follow proper procedure,” said Kopald. "Cell towers should not be approved overnight with no real notice. It's not like approving an invoice for municipal office supplies, which is basically how they treated it."
The American Cancer Society says there’s no strong evidence linking cellphone towers to health effects.  
The senator says last month’s deadly storm is reason enough why the community needs to be able to make a call.  
"I’m fed up,” says Skoufis. “I’ve had enough, and I think the community is fed up.”  
Skoufis says the cellphone tower lawsuits in the Town of Highlands have cost the town and taxpayers $200,000 to fight.  
Kopald denies the municipality spent anywhere near the sum quoted as a result of any cell tower litigation.
Kopald says she doesn’t have a cellphone and that the pending litigation is a “legally complicated situation.”

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