Calumet Township mulls cell tower

CALUMET – The Calumet Township Board of Trustees discussed the future of the Calumet cell tower during their meeting Friday. The tower is currently being leased by AT&T. MD7, a telecommunications consulting company, approached the Township with an offer to take over that lease. If accepted, Calumet Township would end their relationship with AT&T and work instead with MD7 as a representative of AT&T.

They have been discussing the possibility of a new contract with MD7 for nearly 8 months, but voted unanimously Friday to not accept the contract.

“The first time around we sent back the contract and said we wouldn’t sign it,” said Paul Lehto, supervisor of the Calumet Township Board of Trustees. “The second time around they said they would buy the lease for 25-year period or a 99-year period, one or the other. They offered us $200,000 for the rights on the tower.”

However, the language in the contract made it feasible that the $200,000 could be negligible. Specifically, the contract specifies that the Township must maintain the tower and the board suggested that if the company wanted to get out of the contract, MD7 would only have to sue Calumet Township for the $200,000. The board also specified that the $200,000 is not “extra money,” but rather is in lieu of future monthly lease payments.

Along with recommendations from various experts advising against participating in those kinds of contracts and interactions with the company, the board voted unanimously to reject the contract.

In other business, the trustees:

– voted to increase the wages of the deputy treasurer 3 percent. The deputy treasurer will now be paid the same hourly wage as the deputy clerk.

– heard a report from the Calumet Fire Department. The department received 7 calls during April, the largest of which was a structure fire on Highway 41. The source of the fire is labeled as unknown.

– introduced the idea of replacing the current Sizzor lift with a different model.

– paid the bills.