Hampton School Board Has Some Questions for Verizon

Vital statistics: school gets $25k signing bonus plus $24k/yr in rent, with 3% escalators

Cell towers can be a big source of revenue for school districts, but school board members want to balance cost considerations with the aesthetic and safety aspects of the tower design. The Hampton School Board invited Verizon Wireless back for further meetings regarding a potential 154’ cell tower the company wishes to build on a 968 sq.ft. parcel at the Spratley Gifted Center, reports the Daily Press.

Under the proposed agreement, which was discussed during Wednesday evening’s hearing, the school board would receive a $25,000 signing bonus for inking a deal with Verizon, with a $24,000 annual rate and three percent annual escalation. The initial term would be for five years, along with four optional five-year terms.

Despite the revenue that would be generated from the cell tower, school board members were generally hesitant and had several questions they wanted answered before they gave Verizon approval of the cell tower plan.

“I’m not sure that I have the level of detail that I’m real comfortable with,” board member Joe Kilgore said during the meeting, saying he wanted details regarding the site fence and vegetation that would surround the site. Others were concerned about the aesthetics of the proposed structure, like board member Phyllis Henry, who said she didn’t want the school to “look industrial,” adding that the tower site “needs to be attractive and safe.”

Despite the board’s wariness regarding a lack of details, it had positive things to say about the design, as well. The board decided to move forward with the project by asking Verizon to appear again before the board and hold community meetings about the design.

May 19, 2017         

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