City mulls second cell tower lease

October 17, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown, which rents space on its police radio communications tower to a cell phone company, is considering a second lease.

Shenandoah Personal Communications Co., which is connected to Sprint, is interested in leasing the tower, according to a memo by Alfred Martin, the city's finance director.

The city has had a lease with U.S. Cellular for six years.

Together, the leases could mean about $50,000 a year for the city's general fund.

Police Chief Arthur Smith told the city council last week that the cell-phone operations won't interfere with the police use of the tower.

The tower is near the police station, where Burhans Boulevard meets West Franklin and West Washington streets.

In 2003, the city council approved a five-year lease with U.S. Cellular, with base rent of $1,750 per month. The lease could be automatically extended four times, for a total of 20 additional years.


Martin said last week the contract had an escalation clause, raising the rent after five years. The rent now is $2,100 per month.

The lease with Shenandoah Personal Communications Co. also would set rent at $2,100 per month.

The new five-year lease also would have four five-year extensions. The rent would increase every five years.

Martin's memo says Shenandoah Personal Communications Co. would need to use one parking space near the tower for equipment, but will add at least two other spaces.

Smith said there would be room on the tower for more tenants.

The city council tentatively agreed to the new lease, which is expected to come up for a formal vote at the end of the month.

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