ALBANY (AP) — The state budget passed Sunday includes $1 million to help bring improved cell phone coverage along the Adirondack Northway.The spending approved by the Legislature and Gov. Eliot Spitzer follows the January death of 63-year-old Alfred Langner of Brooklyn, who succumbed to hypothermia after driving off a remote area of the highway. Langner and his wife Barbara were unable to get out of the car and were unable to call for help because of a lack of cell phone coverage."The goal is to provide service that is fully funded a cell phone carrier, not requiring support from the state," said state Sen. Betty Little, a North Country Republican. "But given the existing state policy that restricts the height of cell phone towers in the Adirondacks, a state subsidy may be appropriate for an interim or long-term solution."She referred to state laws that limit development and construction in the 6 million acre Adirondack State Park.Environmental groups have long opposed taller towers, saying they would spoil the landscape and violate scenic easements.
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