City Council to consider lease that could generate $330,000 in 10 years

SALISBURY — The city could make $330,000 in the next decade by allowing AT&T to place antennas on the water tower on North Jackson Street.

Salisbury City Council at 4 p.m. Tuesday will consider a proposed lease that would charge AT&T, doing business as New Cingular Wireless, $2,500 a month for five years to place antennas for wireless service on the tank at 405 N. Jackson St.

If the lease is renewed after five years, the rent would go up to $3,000 a month for the second five-year term.

The city has allowed communications antennas on water tanks previously and periodically receives requests from private companies, city staff wrote to City Council members in a memo. The tank has adequate space for antennas and related equipment, they said.

The proposed lease is based on what other municipalities are charging for antenna space. AT&T would provide insurance and use Fibrant for backhaul, meaning the company would use Fibrant’s network for its last mile connection to the water tower.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda:

• Staff will present the city’s financial update from the first quarter, including information about Fibrant, the city’s new high-speed broadband utility. The first quarter of the city’s fiscal year was July through September.

This is the first year the city budget shows Fibrant generating enough revenue to cover debt payments and operating costs. In the past, Fibrant has borrowed millions of dollars from the water-sewer capital reserve fund to pay operating costs.

City Manager Doug Paris said in June that Fibrant would not need another internal loan from a city fund.

Paris said when he presented the budget that Fibrant should continue to be self-supporting, even after the utility’s annual debt payments return to $3 million.

Fibrant’s debt payment fell to about $1.7 million, thanks to refinancing. But the annual payment returns to about $3 million in 2015 and remains at that level until 2029, when Fibrant is paid off.

• The city has received a $21,092 Justice Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for the Salisbury Police Department, which plans to spend the money on personnel exercise and conditioning equipment, one tactical vest, communications earpieces for all officers, one polygraph chair, one file cabinet, tourniquets for officers, Honor Guard uniforms, one equipment cabinet, funds for background checks and specialized fingerprint training.

• City Council will meet new Rowan-Salisbury School Superintendant Dr. Lynn Moody.

• Mayor Paul Woodson will proclaim Saturday as Rowan Blues and Jazz Society Day.

• City Council will receive public comments.

• City Manager Doug Paris’ comments.

In other city news:

• Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department will host Movies in the Park at 8 p.m. Friday at City Park. Bring a blanket or chair to watch the featured movie “Hotel Transylvania.” The free event is open to the public. Halloween costumes are encouraged.

• The 15th annual Rowan Blues and Jazz Festival will be held from 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of West Fisher Street.

• The annual Halloween Funfest sponsored by Parks and Recreation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Salisbury Post parking lot at the intersection of South Church and West Fisher streets. Tickets are $5 for an unlimited game and ride band or 50 cents per ticket.

• The Community Appearance Commission will sponsor the BlockWork Neighborhood Improvement Project from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the 700 and 800 blocks of East Franklin Street. Interested volunteers should call 704-638-5242.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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