The Port Washington Police District has notified Houston-based Crown Castle that the district will take ownership of an existing cell tower at police headquarters once the lease on the tower expires May 31.
At a public meeting at police headquarters Wednesday, which drew about six residents, Commissioners Angela Lawlor Mullins, James Duncan and Dave Franklin all voted in favor of keeping the tower. They noted that the tower plays a critical role for the district’s ability to receive 911 calls.
Verizon, the monopole’s current tenant, “wants to negotiate for a lease,” once the current lease expires, Mullins said Wednesday.
While the district is considering bringing in other tenants, “There are many Verizon users in the district,” Chief William J. Kilfoil said, adding “People couldn’t communicate.”
Next, the commissioners are examining whether to take on additional cell carrier tenants on the monopole. The commissioners voted to put out a request for proposal for a consultant to advise the district on whether to work with a consultant for a flat fee or a management company for a percentage going forward.
During a public meeting on Monday, Craig Sands, a resident with expertise in cell tower leasing, said interested parties would survey whether the tower was structurally sound, and would put in any necessary capital.
“Each carrier would be responsible for its proportionate share and maintenance,” Sands said.
The original lease on the cell tower dates back to 1992, and was issued originally under NYNEX. But because of subsidiaries that have since “changed hands,” the precise responsible party for the lease is in question. The district is currently determining who that party is, but noted that it receives checks from Crown Castle.
The next police commissioners’ meeting is April 9 at 9 a.m. The public is welcome.