Municipal Lease Negotiations- When Cities Undervalue Their Assets

There are times when I come across a news story and am saddened when I read about a municipal landowner who has negotiated an undervalued lease. This particular story is about a town in the Chicago, IL area that negotiated its own agreements with Verizon, US Cellular, Clearwire, and T-Mobile for the use of a water tower on school district property. The lease rate negotiated was less than the average of what the typical tower company charges for a collocation lease. [Read more…]

School Cell Towers: Why RFP’s Don’t Work

Steel in the Air, Inc. regularly assists schools with cell tower leases on school district property. We represent schools and universities who see the upside of income that doesn’t require a budget meeting or tax increases to procure. With the downturn in property tax valuations and increasing budgetary restraints, more schools are evaluating school cell towers as a source of income.

Recently, we went and spoke to a particular school board in south Florida as a member of the public in response to their consideration of the possibility of leasing school district property to cellular providers. Our particular objection to their proposed plan was that they intended to simply issue an Request for Proposals “RFP” in hopes that multiple parties would bid on the exclusive right to place towers on school district property. [Read more…]

Hasty Decisions Made by School Boards and Churches

At Steel in the Air, Inc, we have assisted a number of municipalities with cell phone tower lease proposals at schools. We have also provided guidance to a number of schools, both public and private across the United States.

To our surprise, in some circumstances there has been little to no public opposition to the proposal to place a tower at a school or a church. The surprise comes from the fact that rarely are tower proposals at schools and churches unopposed by local residents. These residents rally to the cry that “towers will cause unknown health problems in our children” regardless of whether they have studied the issue or not. This post is not to suggest that these parents are rationally protective or hysterically uninformed, but to suggest that schools and churches should know in advance that parents will in all likelihood object to the proposed cell phone tower at the church or school. And that such opponents can become very vociferous and actionable. [Read more…]