Officials rethinking cell tower sale

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BEACON FALLS — The company interested in buying the town-owned cell tower on Lopus Road has dropped its offer.

American Tower Corporation originally offered the town $875,000 to buy the tower on Lopus Road near the town garage and lease the land for 35 years. However, the company has reduced the offer to $791,000 over 30 years.

“I don’t know what made them change their offer but they did,” First Selectman Susan Cable said.

A town hall meeting to approve the original offer Wednesday was canceled.

The offer was the highest of four offers procured by consultant Steve Kelleher of KJS Reality Inc. Kelleher would earn a 3 percent commission on whatever offer was approved.

Now, however, some of those other offers may look more attractive, according to Cable.

Cable said another offer from Bay Communications of Massachusetts may be better for the town in the long run. That offer was for $615,000 for 30 years plus a monthly fee to lease the property. The lease would start at $1,000 a month and go up three percent annually.

Cable said Tarpon Towers and SBA Communications offered $787,000 and $770,000 respectively, but those offers came with a lot of other stipulations.

If the town sells the tower, it will still collect taxes on the tower, but won’t be responsible for maintaining the tower itself officials said. The town would also reserve a spot on the tower if it wanted to put up its own communication equipment in the future.

Currently, the town earns nearly $4,600 a month in rent from three companies on the tower. AT&T pays $717 a month while T-Mobile pays $1,975 and MetroPCS contributes $1,900.

Any decision on whether to approve one of the other offers and take it to a town meeting will be up to the new Board of Selectmen taking office Nov. 21.