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Contract signed, permit issued for cell tower in Addison park

September 15, 2010 - Dropped calls will be a thing of the past for cell phone users in Addison Township.

A contract between Verizon Wireless and Addison Township was agreed upon and signed on Aug. 17 and a building permit issued on Aug. 23 for Verizon Wireless to build a 190 foot monopole in the Watershed Preserve Park.

"The contract was signed and a building permit was issued," Addison Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson said.

The contract calls for Verizon to lease a 100-by-100 foot space, totaling 10,000 square feet for $17,000 a year for a period of five years.

According to the contract, the contract can automatically be extended for four additional five-year periods unless Addison Township terminates it at the end of the current term.

The tower will be constructed on the first property just south of Lapeer County and just north of the driveway entrance into Watershed Preserve Park.

According to Pearson, Verizon indicated to him that the project should get started within 90 days due to the amount of monopoles Verizon is currently constructing. It should take less than 90 days to complete the project once it gets underway.

"They (Verizon) are working on their final plans for it to get it going...so I suspect that it will probably be around December or January before they will be starting on this one," Pearson said.

Monies generated from the cell phone tower will be earmarked for all of the parks in Addison Twp.

"Now we can add a few things," Pearson said.

The township just finished putting in three docks in the park system and now Pearson thinks that with the money coming in from the tower, they might be able to make future purchases to make the parks more enjoyable.

He added that he would like to purchase more picnic tables, benches and maybe purchase a couple of boats.

Pearson would like to see a permanent bathroom installed near the entrance of Watershed so people and families using the park will not have to use portable toilets.

"People are using that park (Watershed) regularly now, where as before it wasn't being used," Pearson said.

The income from the tower will also help pay for the park rangers. "That income will enable us to keep the rangers, improving the park for everybody," he said.

This concludes the nearly year long process the township has undertaken to get the monopole approved and built in Watershed.

Before this contract was approved, Verizon had made five previous attempts to place a cell tower in Addison Twp.

Verizon previously attempted to place the tower at Leonard Elementary in the Village of Leonard, but that was turned down over residential concerns of maintaining a "rural, natural environment" and health concerns expressed by the public.

The Village also rejected a plan that would have put the tower on former Addison Township Supervisor Robert Koski's property.

The zoning ordnance allowed for a telecommunication tower or antenna and related structures to be placed on property zones limited and/or light industrial with a minimum of 10 acres. It was discovered that Koski's property met the requirements, but it was previously divided up and portions were sold, so it no longer qualified.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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