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Nashua panel to consider cell tower deal

Union Leader Correspondent

August 03. 2014 4:48PM

NASHUA -- City officials this week will review a proposal from Verizon Wireless to build a new wireless communications facility at Mine Falls Park.

On Wednesday, the aldermanic Finance Committee will be presented with the recommended tower replacement agreement and a new tower communications site lease contract with Verizon Wireless.

Currently, the city owns a wireless communication facility at Mine Falls Park, 10 Whipple St., which includes a 180 feet cell tower. Verizon Wireless is hoping to construct a new wireless communications facility, including a new cell tower, at the same site as the existing tower, according to Stephen Bennett, city attorney.

“The tower replacement agreement requires Verizon, at its sole expense, to design, engineer and construct the new cell tower,” Bennett said in a memo. “Once the cell tower is completed, ownership will be transferred to the city at no cost.”

The new tower is necessary in order to support greater loading than the existing tower, which cannot be modified to accommodate the increase, according to the proposed agreement.

A structural assessment of the existing tower indicates that the current tenants have installed equipment that exceeds the tower's designed capacity, according to the written proposal on file at Nashua City Hall.

The city's current wireless communication facility supports equipment from AT&T, Sprint, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile. If approved by city officials, Verizon will replace the tower and also become a new tenant.

“The annual rental fee paid by Verizon Wireless will be $26,400 a year with a 3 percent increase each year of the contract term. The proposed agreement with the city is for a 10 year initial term, with the option of extending to 30 years.

The new tower, if the contract is approved, will remain at 180 feet.

Wednesday's Finance Committee begins at 7 p.m. at Nashua City Hall.

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