WATERVILLE — The city would be $420,000 richer if it agrees to sell two leases for space on the city-owned tower at the fire station to a California-based company, but there are apparent drawbacks to the request.

Lease Advisors wants to buy the leases with T-Mobile and Verizon for 25 years, with that span of time to increase if the city decides to do a longer-term contract with the company.

The lease sale is one of several items councilors will consider at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Chace Community Forum at the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons downtown. The meeting will be preceded by an executive session at 6:45 p.m. to discuss real estate.

A memo from City Manager Michael Roy to councilors lists what he thinks are the pros and cons of the tower lease proposal.

Pros, he says, include receiving $420,000 to invest.

“If the city were to invest that sum for 25 years at 5% we would have $1.4 million,” Roy’s memo says.

The city also would be relieved from having to manage leases. If T-Mobile and Verizon decide to cancel leases before their contracts end, the city would already have been paid to 2031-32, and Lease Advisors would market the tower for new tenants, according to Roy.

Cons include if the city receives the $420,000 lump sum and spends it all up front, the city gives up control of the tower on its fire station for a long time. The city will get only 50% of revenue from any new leases, Roy says.

In summary, the city is being offered $420,000, but if Waterville keeps its existing leases for another 10 years, it would earn $497,024, according to Roy.

He recommends Waterville not accept the proposal as it has had the leases for 13 or 14 years with no problem managing them. If the city gives them up prior to expiration, the city loses the ability to negotiate better pricing; if the city invests all the sale proceeds, it will create a $35,000 revenue shortfall for next year; and by holding the leases, Waterville collects $497,000 instead of $420,000.

“I know that the present value of money will decrease over time, but this is still a significant difference,” Roy says in his memo.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors will consider amending ordinances regarding zoning, marijuana, and licenses and permits; waiving foreclosure of municipal tax liens for several properties; and referring to the planning board for public hearing and recommendation a request to rezone a strip along Webb Road from Residential-B to Rural Residential to place the entire parcel in Rural Residential. The change would allow for an access road to be built from Webb Road to an expansion of Countryside Mobile Home Park.


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