FARMINGTON — City officials have decided to say no to the construction of a wireless tower near the police station after years of on-again, off-again talks with Verizon.
Members of the city council voted unanimously at a recent meeting to reject a lease with Verizon for the tower, which could have provided up to $20,000 a year in revenue for city coffers and would have also reimbursed the city $3,000 for legal expenses on the project.
Talks about the project go back several years and most recently resulted in an option and land lease agreement coming before the council.
“What do we win?” Councilman Rick Dutson said of the possible agreement.
Dutson said the tower was not a moneymaker for the city.
The lease agreement did not include details on the height or width of the tower in a residential area, which worried Councilman John Bilton.
Previous talks had suggested the communications giant was looking to erect a 60-foot tower in the area.
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 that the city spent almost $3,000 in legal fees to work out an agreement with Verizon before the project was pulled.
Talks over the project are hardly new and concerns have already been raised with the city planning commission, where a number of residents voiced concerns about the potential impact of the tower.
If the lease agreement had been approved, the tower plan would still have been subject to planning commission review.
“If you’re uncomfortable with it in the neighborhood, don’t approve it. If you approve this, it will only move it forward,” City Manager Dave Millheim said of the accord.