Metro Atlanta School Systems Eye Cell Phone Towers For Revenue

April 29, 2012 12:00 AM
Metro Atlanta School Systems Eye Cell Phone Towers For Revenue
" ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) - Several Georgia cities and school systems are looking at constructing and renting cell phone towers to help shore up hurting budgets, though many citizens are opposed to the idea.

Plans to construct towers have been floated in cities and school systems in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton Counties.

Leases for cell phone towers can garner more than $1 million annually, with monthly payments to property owners ranging between $750 and $4,000. Most leases run for 20 years.

However, many oppose the construction of new cell towers. Angry parents in DeKalb County, Cobb County and East Atlanta are worried about the health effects on students. Property owners fear a decrease in property values.

Some resistance may come from the region’s reliance on traditional land-line service. The magazine Forbes ranks the Atlanta area as one the second most-wired region in the nation in 2010.

Facing a $20 million budget cut in the next fiscal year, Atlanta earns just more than $1 million a year in rent from 41 leases spread over 21 towers and structures. "

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