Officials in Sebago, Maine, are in the process of approving a cell tower proposal from a major telecom company, which would be erected on the summit of Peaked Mountain. It is common knowledge that Sebago has almost no wireless coverage and a cell tower is viewed as a necessity amongst many residents. The Planning Board has even gone as far as to put a survey on its website, allowing residents to voice their opinions on the matter. According to Sebago’s Code Enforcement Officer, “If erected, a cell tower on Peaked Mountain would be the first in Sebago. According to current survey results, the desire for expanded coverage has been overwhelming. A majority of the town is in agreement that they would prefer to have better coverage.”
But has Sebago received a fair proposal for the use of its property? What is the true value to the telecom company for the use of the mountain’s summit? Clearly it is a very appealing spot for telecom companies and has the capacity to house four providers’ equipment, thereby increasing its revenue potential. Vertical Consultants has worked with all types of property owners, including 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.