Town favors tower lease payments over buyout

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The town would rather keep receiving regular lease payments from American Tower Corp.

The Town Board voted Wednesday to reject an offer from the company for a onetime buyout payment for their antenna located on the former town dump property.

Town Attorney Jim Hughes told the supervisors that the company was offering a lump sum payment of $260,000 to buy out the lease that currently runs through the year 2050.

ATC pays $1,600 a month for the tower, with the payment split between the town (three-fourths) and the village of Glenbeulah (one-fourth), who jointly own the property.

“That money would buy you about two miles of road (paving),” Town Chairman Warren Luedke observed of the payout offer.

But he added that if the town continued receiving monthly payments for the next 33 years, the total received would be more than the buyout offer.

Hughes agreed, saying he calculated that the total payments over the term of the lease would amount to over $1 million with periodic rent increases built into the agreement.

“But with the lease you have to wait for that money, whereas with a buyout you get (money) right away, or at least pretty soon,” Hughes added.

“I think the better deal is to let them keep paying rent,” Supervisor Roger Rortvedt commented.

“I get a feeling there could be more offers in the future,” Hughes told the board.

Rortvedt’s motion to continue the lease and turn down the buyout payment passed unanimously.

Luedke announced a public information meeting will be held Thursday, July 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall on the proposed replacement of the Woodland Road bridge over the Mullet River east of County C.

“That’s ready to be constructed next year,” he told the board.

Next on the bridge list in the town, Luedke added, will be the bridge on Short Cut Road between County O and County PP.

“We are on the list to get funding for that, but we want to get a cost from the engineer,” on taking the bridge out entirely and converting Short Cut Road to a cul-de-sac on either side of the Mullet.

“That could be cheaper than a new bridge,” Luedke observed.

The board approved twothirds of the necessary documents to straighten out the wandering cul-de-sac on Olllie Lane.

Attorney Crystal Fieber, representing landowner Matt Gritt, presented an agreement, and a resolution and order, to vacate land that was dedicated but never used for cul-de-sacs on the short street off County PP. The cul-de-sac was eventually built on a third parcel of land after two other pieces were dedicated for it.

Fieber said the certified survey map to complete the process was not ready for approval yet but should be shortly.“The purpose of the agreement is to provide the town with assurance,” that the original proposed locations for the cul-de-sac will never be used for that, she explained. In exchange, Gritt will dedicate the right-of-way where it was built – which is now on part of his property – as a public street.

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