By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield Common Council approved a lease agreement on a 115-foot tower that will help improve cell phone service on the west side of the city.
City Administrator Steve Barg told the council Jan. 23 that the city and Wood County officials had several issues to work out regarding a lease agreement with Verizon, which has already reached agreement with the commission that governs the campus, over building the tower on the north end of the UW parking lot along West Fifth Street.
“One was the increase in rent over the years – it was initially proposed to be 5 percent – at the end of the five years of the term. I was suggesting that we look at 3 percent a year, or the CPI (Consumer Price Index), and ultimately we’ve agreed on 2 percent per year as an increase in that rent,” Barg said, “and then there was an issue about removal of footings if, and when, the tower is taken out some day – looking to have that done completely. The developer said, ‘How about to three feet below grade;’ and city staff finds that to be acceptable, so I think from our end we’ve worked everything out now.”
Barg said staff and students on the campus, along with nearby residents, have reported the need for improved cell phone service in that area.
The proposal calls for a 30-year lease agreement with Verizon, which would make annual payments of just over $14,000 initially to the UW Commission. That money would be used for campus improvements and it would reduce the amount the campus would be asking for from both the Marshfield and Wood County budgets each year.
The Wood County Board is scheduled to sign off on the final agreement during its February meeting.