County Extends Cell Tower Lease

Rockbridge County is getting $25,000 for agreeing to a 15-year extension of a lease of Verizon Wireless’s telecommunications tower on Greenhouse Road.

The Board of Supervisors on Oct. 15 approved the agreement with Cellco Partnership (doing business as Verizon Wireless) that extends the lease for three additional five-year terms. The lease agreement, which had been slated to expire in 2032, will now run through July 31, 2047.

County staff and the supervisors’ finance committee negotiated and recommended the lease extension. County staff recommended that the one-time payment of $25,000 be placed in a restricted account for future capital improvement projects.

Supervisor Dan Lyons made a motion to approve the agreement that was seconded by John Higgins. During discussion, Higgins proposed that the $25,000 be designated for athletic fields – a suggestion that was supported by David Hinty.

Lyons said that could be a possible use for the money, but added, “I don’t think we want to tie our hands.” He clarified that his motion was for the money to go into the county’s overall CIP fund. The motion passed 3-2, with Higgins and Hinty dissenting.

Other terms of the lease are to remain the same. The initial annual rental payment was set at $9,600 in 2007, with a provision for a 3 percent annual increase. In the current year, the annual rent payment is $13,687.20, divided into 12 monthly payments of $1,140.60.

The tower is located on a 2.73-acre parcel of land owned by the county. Also on the parcel are the county’s Greenhouse Road Collection Center and an overflow parking area leased to Randy Hostetter for his business.

The News-Gazette

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