Village to Weigh New Cell Tower Lease

Unison is looking to lease the village's cell tower four about $3 million for a 40-year period.

Unison, a wireless leasing company has approached the looking to acquire space on the village's cell tower.

The company, which works towards managing and developing cell sites, made the offer Monday night at a work session and is offering the village $2.8-$3.1 million in cash to lease the site for an estimated 40 years.

If acquired, Unison will received all revenue streams from the five existing cell carriers that occupy the water tower. Board members estimated that the village currently receives $25,000 total per month from all carriers at the site.

The plan is in the early stages and the village has the option to sell all or portions of the site if they would like to continue to retain some monthly revenue from the carriers.

Trustee Thomas Ryan said although the plan is intriguing, there are still some doubts.

"It's taking a risk for the village. It's making the determination whether our cash flow over a period of time versus the upfront payment is going to make it different for us…Buyer beware, that's my first thought because it seems too good to be true," he said.

A spokesperson at the meeting from Unison said municipalities who have shown interested in similar deals in the past tend to be struggling financially. 

Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said a lack of finances is not the reason for the consideration of the plan, stating that the village is currently experiencing an financial "upside".

"We are going to do some due diligence and pull out all of our contracts with the [carriers]. Were going to have a team huddle and decide whether we are going to move forward or not," he said.

Sal September 12, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Under the current format , in 40 years with no increase in monthly fees from other carriers, the Village would receive $4.8 million, Since we are fiscally stable why would we give up the monthly stable income and no future growth. If Unison triples the figure,. then maybe we should listen!!
Ray Keogh September 12, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Perhaps a good use for this revenue would be putting it towards burial of the overhead utility wires?
Richard J Rousselle October 11, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I believe at the current rates over 40 years the Village would actually receive 12 million dollars (25,000x12x40). The Village accepting 1/4 of that up front from Unison would be absolutely irresponsible.


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