Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Dialing for Dollars: Are Cell Phone Towers in Parks an Economic Boom or Doom for Park and Recreation Departments?

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Dialing for Dollars: Are Cell Phone Towers in Parks an Economic Boom or Doom for Park and Recreation Departments?

Article excerpt

Do you allow cell towers in parks? That was a recent question posted from Appleton, Wis., on NRPA's listserv, NRPAnet. For information on how to join the discussion, select "eCommunities" from NRPA's Web site (www.nrpa.org). Here are some of the responses about the ramifications of implementing this technology:

We have two towers in Picnic Hill. They are on the water tower, and we receive $10,000 per year for each. The revenue is credited to parks and recreation, but just show-s as general fund revenue.-- Two Rivers, Wis.

So far we have three cell companies in one of our community parks at a ballfield, and we are currently writing up a contract to get a fourth provider in the same area. We provide them a ground site and they buy the lighting tower where our ballfield lights are mounted, as well as their antennas at the top. They had to turn the light tower over to parks because we didn't want them to leave at the end of the lease period and take out the towers, leaving us with nothing to mount our ballfield lights on. They had to build everything and maintain their ground space in addition to renovating any damaged tuft; irrigation systems, utilities, pavement, etc. Also each provider was required to purchase three or four trees to use as screening at the park. The revenue that parks derive keeps going up with some paying $12,000 per year. The latest one will pay $13,400 per year. The parks department does keep the money. It is used in our Life Cycle Fund (infrastructure replacement account) to replace and renovate park structures, irrigation, turf, parking lots, roads, ballfields, etc. This program has seen some significant cuts recently and these funds really help to keep our infrastructure intact.--Fort Collins, Colo.

Our city has an ordinance prohibiting above-ground utilities in parks. However, we do have one park that has a water tower and several communication-related companies have installed antennas on them. …

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