City OKs lease for highlands cell tower

May 18, 2010

By Staff

Plans to build a 65-foot cell tower on city land in the Issaquah Highlands advanced last week, after a City Council committee OK’d a lease agreement with AT&T.

Plans call for the structure to be built near the existing 45-foot T-Mobile tower near the Park Drive Northeast entrance to Central Park and a reservoir.

Legislation for the AT&T tower reached the City Council in 2008. Officials asked AT&T to add the ability to co-locate — or lease space to — other carriers on the tower. The measure returned to the council last year with stronger co-location language.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members unanimously approved the agreement May 11. The measure does not require a vote by the full council.

AT&T must secure land-use and building permits before construction can proceed. City planners had almost completed the land-use item by last week.

The pact should generate at least $12,000 per year for the city. The rate escalates each year by either 4 percent or the local Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater.

AT&T could recoup some of the money. The communications giant plans to include space for multiple carriers on the tower.

“They’re spending more money to make the pole taller to accommodate the separation between three separate antennas,” city Public Works Engineering Deputy Director Sheldon Lynne said.

City Attorney Wayne Tanaka OK’d the lease agreement before the legislation reached committee members.

“Now that I have an iPhone, I have a vested interest,” Councilman Mark Mullet joked.

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