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That’s the cell companies’ problem, countered Council Member Bridget Anderson.
“We have made more than enough money off these contracts and it’s a drop in the bucket to what it would cost to fully remove that footprint or move it to another location,” she said at last week’s meeting.
Leasing space from the city has translated to nearly $300,000 a year in revenue that goes to repairing the city’s streets or its water system.
If cell equipment were relocated, the companies could opt to drop out, cutting off that revenue. Dudinsky also said a federal telecommunications law requires cities to accommodate cell companies to a certain degree, and disrupting their service could open up the city to a lawsuit from companies.
Plus, council member Andrew Mullin said, they’d likely hear from many angry residents if cell service were disrupted. He was the lone council vote against the decision to pay consultant SEH nearly $10,000 for the study, saying he didn’t want to waste taxpayer money on another study when they have enough information to improve the site.
“Why wait? Let’s get after a compromise now,” he said.
Another $25,000 was spent on the 2012 study, Dudinsky said. “We’ve spent a lot of money on trying to resolve this,” he said. “We’re trying to find a viable solution.”
But the residents say that, unlike the city, they have no alternative — except to move.
“They’ve been kicking this can down the road,” said Hughes’ husband, Mark.
Now, he and his wife are anxious for a resolution.
“It’s disrespectful to us,” she said. “We understand the construction but this should have an end. This never has an ending.”
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141