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Published: Wednesday, 5/2/2012

Easement on Bedford school land sought

Board of education to weigh plan to give firm access to cell phone tower


TEMPERANCE -- The Bedford Board of Education is expected at its meeting Thursday to consider a plan to grant an easement on property at Douglas Road Elementary School in return for a $335,000 payment.

Communications Capital Group LLP of San Diego wants the 250-square-foot easement at the cell phone tower behind the school so it can locate additional dishes for telecommunications carriers.

The easement would last 30 years. In return, the school district would receive the upfront payment and a share of revenue when new carriers sign up, Garrett Zubok, the California firm's director of acquisitions, told the board at its committee-of-the-whole meeting last week.

The district would be selling its current revenue stream from the tower, which is $2,875 a month, but stands to earn $25,000 to $30,000 a year eventually, Mr. Zubok said.

He told the board the 170-foot tower had space at its 130 and 150-foot marks. He said his company was confident it would find carriers to utilize it with additional equipment.

Mr. Zubok said that for telecommunications companies, "co-locating" on an existing tower is much less expensive than building a tower, which can cost $180,000. He noted the district would keep its $335,000 even if additional carriers were not found.

The board seemed receptive to the arrangement and placed the proposal on Thursday's agenda. Superintendent Ted Magrum said the lump-sum payment would be used as part of the district's deficit elimination effort.

In other business, the board heard from the district's director of instructional technology about a proposed One-to-One Technology Initiative.

Jennifer Earl said the plan, which is preliminary, would put a wireless device such as an iPad or laptop in the hands of every student starting in the sixth grade.

Funding would come from Monroe County's educational technology millage. The cost has not been determined.

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