County School Board has 3.6 Million Reasons to Approve 20 Towers
The Wake County school board recently approved a 10-year exclusive contract with APC-EDGE to market, manage and develop new commercial telecommunications sites at schools, reported The News & Observer. Currently, the district gets $213,513 a year in rent from towers at three Raleigh schools but has the potential to generate much more revenue.
According to Betty Parker, the district’s senior director of real estate services, APC-EDGE has identified 20 schools it’s interested in looking at for towers, which could generate $3.6 million in revenue for the district over a 30-year period.
“Over time it’s a revenue generator for a very small bit of land that we’re not using for other purposes,” Parker told school board members. Continue Reading
Parker added that Wake would be the first school district in North Carolina to enter into a management contract to market sites for new commercial cell towers. APC-EDGE would be paid from a share of the lease revenues from any new towers and would also be responsible for maintaining the towers, reported The News & Observer.
There are concerns over health risks related to radio frequency associated with the towers, but Parker told school board members that the health concerns are a “non-starter.” She went on to present data showcasing that people have less daily exposure to towers than to WiFi routers, baby monitors or cell phones. Additionally, the towers would comply with FCC requirements on RF emissions, Parker said.
“This is one of those situations where the fear is often greater than the reality, but we want to be sure to get out ahead of that,” Parker told the board.
The school board unanimously approved the contract during an August meeting. Under the contract, APC-EDGE will negotiate lease deals for new towers, with the school board making the final decision on whether to approve them.