By Conrad Dudderar
A long-term cell tower lease with AT&T would provide more than $900,000 for Yukon Public Schools while improving coverage for wireless customers.
The YPS Board of Education has unanimously approved the lease of 3,600 square feet – including the air space above the ground space – for a 90-foot-tall “telecommunications facility” on the Lakeview Intermediate School campus, 872 S Yukon Parkway.
Pending City of Yukon zoning approval, the cell phone tower would be installed east of practice fields behind the school.
“It’s kind of in ‘no-man’s land’ because it’s landlocked; there’s no roads in or out,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said. “It’s out of the way.”
YPS officials have no future growth plans for the unused land.
Under terms of the lease, AT&T would pay the Yukon school district $1,250 per month plus a $5,000 one-time bonus.
YPS would have the option to renew this cell tower lease for 10 more five-year terms.
The rent would increase 2% upon renewal of each extension term, according to the agreement.
If all terms are exercised, total revenue for YPS would be about $917,653.66.
“Not only will (the lease) help us with a little bit of revenue, it will also serve our community because it will increase (AT&T) service in some of the ‘lacking’ areas in Yukon,” Simeroth added.
Referring to rising inflation, YPS Board President Leonard Wells said he thought the 2% rent increase “was a little bit low.”
“At the same time, if we ever get back to normal, 2% is actually what the U.S. government targets every year for inflation,” Wells noted. “Certainly, it’s not there right now.”
Trying to allay Wells’ concerns about the tower’s proposed location, Dr. Simeroth said it would be positioned “in the middle of nothing.”
“By law, it has to be 400 feet from any structures,” the YPS chief noted.
Besides the practice fields directly behind Lakeview, there are other athletic fields further east of the proposed cell tower site.
“It’s really in the perfect spot that doesn’t interfere with anything,” Simeroth said.
YPS BOARD MEETING DATES
Meanwhile, dates for the YPS Board of Education’s regular monthly meetings have been set for calendar year 2023.
Meetings will begin at 6 p.m. on these Mondays: Jan. 9, Feb. 6, March 6, April 10, May 1, June 5, July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 2, Nov. 6, and Dec. 4.
The school board meets inside the Dixie Ritz Memorial Board Room at the YPS Administration Building, 600 Maple.