The town of Odenton, Maryland, entered into an agreement to have all school properties evaluated as potential cell tower locations. So far, two county schools have been assessed, of which one was chosen to house a 99-foot tower. Many parents are not supportive of the possibility of the second school, Piney Orchard Elementary, being chosen as a cell tower location. However, according to COO of Arundel schools, he states reasons for the evaluation agreement “were to address concerns from local and federal agencies that wireless coverage gaps in the area could hamper emergency response efforts when cellular calls are dropped.” He also mentioned, “financial incentives — including a $25,000-a-year payment to the school system from Milestone and other payments for lease space and rental fees charged to companies.”
What is the true value to the tower company for the use of school property? Vertical Consultants has worked with all types of property owners, including schools and municipalities, who are being paid below-market value for the use of their property. The primary reason for this is the lack of information and representation provided for these entities. Ample information and representation from a true landowner advocate are key factors these industries need in order to optimize the use of their properties. Vertical Consultants has made its mission to provide our clients the data they need. While telecom companies have professionals on their side who know the true value of every tower site they control, property owners should have advocates working for them determining options to optimize their telecom assets.