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City Council to act on lease for cell tower behind McDonough Park

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 10:19 am

GENEVA — Over the next 25 years, the city could receive more than $750,000 from AT&T for leasing an area behind city-owned McDonough Park for a 150-foot-high Cingular Wireless cell phone tower.

The lease will be discussed and likely acted on by City Council Wednesday night.

The tower would loom over the outfield fence at a height that exceeds the light poles. It would have an artificial tree and shrubbery-like treatment at the top.

AT&T approached the city last year for the lease of a 75-foot-by-75-foot area to the northeast of the baseball park on upper Lyceum Street. The tower and a small building containing support equipment would be surrounded by a 7-foot-high fence topped with barbed wire.

The telecommunications giant is proposing an initial five-year lease, with four, five-year renewals. The first year’s rent would be $21,000, an amount that would increase by 3 percent each year for the life of the lease.

Revenue from the first five-year lease would be more than $111,000.

City Manager Matt Horn said in addition to the revenue, the installation would enhance digital communications in the city, making the area more competitive from a telecommunications standpoint, and potentially reducing cell phone service costs to residents.

In January, the city Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan and architectural review for the project, with the aesthetic enhancement to the tower insisted on by city officials to mitigate the visual impact on the neighborhood.

Council previously determined that the lot does not serve a public purpose. There were no comments at a public hearing in December.

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