Cell tower lease renewed in township for AT&T
By Dana Casadei
The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved the renewal of the cell tower lease with AT&T at their meeting on Monday, October 9, thereby allowing the authorization of supervisor Dani Walsh and clerk Martin Brook to execute the lease.
The lease renewal will come after the township receives the receipt of a signed copy from AT&T, who, according to treasurer Michael Schostak, are fully on board with all of the economic terms, and have no intentions of making changes before signing.
The township will also require a structural analysis of the tower to make sure it can support and manage the wind resistance with added needed equipment before moving forward. They’re currently waiting for AT&T to procure a structural analysis and provide a final exhibit, which is the equipment list for what they want to add to the tower.
Over the last year, the township has been working with AT&T to renew its lease, with negotiations being lead by former treasurer Brian Kepes before his retirement.
“I’m going to give the credit to where it’s due to my predecessor, who was able to negotiate a lease where we collect double the rent,” Schostak said.
This contract will now have the township collecting $78,000 a year in rent from the tower. It includes a monthly rent increase from $3,290.23 to nearly twice that at $6,500; an upfront capital contribution of $160,000; $30,000 of which may be used for future engineering reviews; and an increase in the amount of equipment allowed to 18 antennae and radioheads instead of just 15. Said increase was able to happen due to Sprint removing their equipment after merging with T-Mobile.
This contract with AT&T would have four extension options, each being five years long, with the initial contract also being for five years.
“It was very hard fought but everybody involved did a great job… thank you all for all you did,” said Walsh.
The tower, located behind the DPW building on the township campus, was built in 1992 and the township has been leasing space out of the tower to various telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon – the latter of which the township approved a renewal lease last December.