As telecommunications giants compete for better network capabilities and coverage, high vantage points become potential sources of revenue and the Town of Berryville may be on the receiving end of such an agreement. The town will consider granting Verizon a lease on the Josephine Street Water tower for wireless network infrastructure and the deal has the potential to generate almost a million dollars over the term of the lease.
Town manager Keith Dalton was contacted by Verizon Real Estate Zoning representative Andrew Martin about the possibility of entering a lease agreement for the space on the water tower. Dalton said in his brief to the Town Council, “Verizon Wireless has contacted the Town regarding the possibility of placing antennas on the Josephine Water Tower. Our discussions to date have involved rent, term, renewals, escalators, number of antennas, location and means of antenna installation, ground area lease, and the lease instrument that will be used.”
The initial terms proposed by Verizon are for 5 years with five automatic 5-year renewals at the lessee’s option. The monthly rent would start at $1650/month, escalating 3% per year. The 30-year rental agreement would total approximately $942,000.00.
This is similar in terms of cost to the current agreement that the town has in place with AT&T for space on the Northwest Water Tower near the fairgrounds.
The lease would allow Verizon to place twelve panel antennas (each up to 96″Hx18″W) and one (1) snow-cone sized GPS on the tower. It would also include space on the ground below the tower for a 12’x30′ shelter with a generator.
The idea is in the early stages for both Verizon and the town. The agreement will be introduced to the town council at Tuesday’s meeting and will be discussed by council members.
Verizon is also in the preliminary stages but needs to gauge the interest the town has in the agreement before proceeding. If the town decides to move forward Verizon will need to measuring signal strength from the tower. If the results are good, they would proceed with engineering studies and lease negotiations with the town.