AT&T makes bid for Colrain cell tower

COLRAIN — AT&T has answered the town’s request for proposals and wants to build a 120-foot cell tower on land at the town transfer station, off Charlemont Road.

Contract negotiations are under way, according to Town Coordinator Kevin Fox. Once a lease is completed by lawyers, AT&T can move forward with the special-permit process, under the town’s zoning bylaws.

“This isn’t going to happen overnight,” said Fox. “Maybe a year from now, would be my guess.”

In its bid to build a cell tower, AT&T “offered more than we were asking for,” said Fox.

The town asked for a 10-year lease for a cell tower in exchange for at least $1,500 per month, with a 3 percent increase each year, and with options to renew the lease for five-year terms. The town also wanted at least 15 percent of any gross revenue AT&T gets for sharing its cell tower with other service providers or co-locators.

AT&T has offered the town a rental fee of $2,000 per month, with a 3 percent annual increase, and 18 percent of any revenue to come from co-location of up to three carriers.

The application, which is available at the town office, includes several viewpoints of the proposed tower from different vantage points.

Fox said AT&T’s offer is to build a monopole inside a fenced equipment compound, which will be about 50 feet by 40 feet. The compound will include a 12-by-20-foot equipment shed with back-up generation.

But the big question is whether the new cell tower will extend cell-phone service into this hilltown.

“Obviously, having a cell tower in town, we hope, will provide some benefit,” said Fox. Residents must feel that way, too. About 27 special town meeting voters came out on a very frigid January night to vote 26-1 in favor of letting the Board of Selectmen request bids for a cell tower on the town-owned land.

No AT&T officials could be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

Currently, cell phones cannot be used in most parts of town.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at: dbroncaccio@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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