Wednesday , 26 February 2020

Verizon Tower Lease

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    Howard Crofoot

    The City of Platteville leases with multiple cell phone companies on one of our water towers. One of the companies is Verizon.

    Recently, Verizon has approached us to renegotiate the lease (down). We have also been contacted by a firm that wants to represent us in this renegotiation process with Verizon.

    I am asking anyone with a lease with Verizon:

    Did you accept the lease modification as proposed by Verizon?
    Did you counteroffer and successfully negotiate a new deal?
    Did you stick to the current lease? If so, did Verizon give notice or pull off the tower?
    If you negotiated, did you use staff, the community’s attorney or did you use the services of an outside firm?

    For us, we currently have a lease with monthly payments of $2,938.77. We have leased to Verizon since 1999 and are into our automatic 5 year renewal periods. We escalate the rent by 3% every year. There is a 180 day notice before the company can end the lease.

    Verizon wants to lower payments to $2,015.88/month (about 68% of their current rate). They want an escalation clause of 7.5% at the end of every 5 years. They will agree to 6 each 5-year renewal terms and to sweeten the pot, they will agree not to terminate the lease for the initial 5 year term.

    Our Water & Sewer Commission will meet on Sep 12 to discuss this. Any info you might provide would be helpful.

    Scott Kloskowski

    The City of Muskego is in southeast Wisconsin. Verizon made a similar request to us a year or two ago. We told them we wouldn’t renegotiate. They just did an upgrade to their equipment so it appears they will be here for a while. They are paying much higher rents in this part of the state. I suggest checking with some neighboring communities to see what they are getting for rent from cell companies. Most Waukesha County communities use a similar contract format that was developed and negotiated originally by city staff and their attorneys. Our Mayor was involved with our original contract, also in the 1990’s, and communicated with other local government officials. Our city attorney is dealing with cell contract currently.

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