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New cell tower for ATT, township to receive revenues



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March 02, 2011 - The Atlas Township Board of Trustees voted 3-0 in a special meeting on Thursday to move forward for a new cell tower in the township.

Township Supervisor Shirley Kautman-Jones, Township Clerk Tere Onica and Treasurer Anne-Marie Slagle voted yes. Trustee Barry June did not attend the meeting.

Terms of the deal with Indiana-based Fortune Wireless Corporation are for $1,500 per year with a 2 1/2 percent annual escalator. The 30-year lease will renew every five years. The 177-foot structure will be built behind the Atlas Township Hall on Gale Road north of Goodrich High School on township property.

The planning commission had received an application in October for the new cell tower proposed by AT&T to be erected near Burpee Road between Gale and Vassar roads. However, the planning commission nixed the plan because the township cell tower ordinance requires construction of the tower on township property, unless the tower must be built on private land for coverage reasons.

The cell tower is necessary, according to the application submitted to the township by Fortune Wireless Corporation, to meet coverage objectives in reducing dropped calls.

The township will receive the revenues.

Rick Misek, planning commission chairperson, said the request is the first for the township in about 10 years.

"So far there's been enough room on the existing towers in the township," said Misek. "It's understandable that a new tower may be necessary—about 20 percent of American households do not have copper wire going into their home. Many have changed to wireless for all their communications."

Township attorney David Lattie had been in negotiations with Fortune Wireless Corporation regarding the length of the pending lease agreement.

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