FARMINGTON -- City officials have approved an amendment to a lease agreement with Verizon for maintenance of a wireless tower near the police station.
The amendment, approved at a recent city council meeting, expands the size of area around the yet-to-be constructed tower to include landscaping beds. The change to the contract was approved without much discussion in the council meeting or the work session that preceded it.
The planning commission had recommended the landscaping feature be added to the contract. The lease amendment will not be executed by the city until Verizon begins construction of the tower.
In October, city leaders approved a land lease agreement with the communications giant that will pay the city $20,000 a year for 10 years.
The tower is projected to be 60 feet high and be designed like a pine tree. Concerns had been raised about the height of the tower, but a consultant for the company said a 60-foot tower would meet all the company's needs.
Construction of the wireless tower has been a hot issue in the city for years.
In 2009, representatives for the telecommunications giant contacted former City Manager Max Forbush, expressing a renewed willingness to pursue the project. That came almost a year after Verizon pulled the plug on the project, after city officials had invested significant time and money for legal expenses in the proposal. Forbush estimated the city spent almost $3,000 in legal fees to work out an agreement with Verizon before the project was pulled.
Conversations about the project are hardly new and concerns have already been raised with the city's planning commission, because a number of residents voiced concerns about the potential impact of the tower.