BY KEVIN BONESKE
The site of an existing cell phone tower that resembles a large flag pole along Courtney Street in Rhinelander will be able to be leased for at least the next five years for use by AT&T under a contract amendment approved Monday by the City Council.
The city first entered into an agreement in November 2010 for AT&T to use the site. City attorney Carrie Miljevich said MD7, an approved vendor for AT&T, contacted the city about the lease for the cell tower, indicating that AT&T had lost a federal subsidy and sought a decrease in the monthly lease payment.
“That set off a whole bunch of new lease negotiations,” said Miljevich, noting the amendment was the best the city could come up with under the circumstances and commits AT&T to leasing the site for at least the next five years.
The amendment takes effect Sept. 1 and ends Aug. 31, 2021, with the city receiving $1,250 per month in rent in the first year and the rent increasing by 3 percent in each of the following years. The agreement would automatically renew for up to five additional five-year terms, unless AT&T notifies the city at least 12 months prior to the expiration of the current term.
“If cell service became obsolete in the next five years, they would still pay their obligations under this contract,” Miljevich said.
She said the contract amendment must also be agreed to by AT&T to be finalized.