22 Aug 2014
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School Board to Vote on Cell Towers at Medlock, Lakeside Tonight

Residents around Medlock Elementary School have vehemently opposed the erection of a cell tower on the recently shuttered school's grounds, citing health concerns among others.

School Board to Vote on Cell Towers at Medlock, Lakeside Tonight

The DeKalb County Board of Education is scheduled to vote tonight on its controversial proposal to allow T-Mobile to erect several cell phone towers on school grounds in the county, including and and elementary schools.

Here's the full item the board on which the board will vote:

It is requested that the Board of Education approve the contract proposal submitted by T-Mobile for placement of Wireless Towers at the following locations:  Briarlake Elementary School, Flat Rock Elementary School, Brockett Elementary School, Jolly Elementary School, Lakeside High School, Margaret Harris Center, Martin Luther King Jr. High School, Meadowview Elementary School, Medlock Elementary School, Narvie J. Harris Elementary School, Princeton Elementary School, and Smoke Rise Elementary School.

Residents from the Medlock Elementary community have said they plan to attend the meeting to protest the proposal, and I'm sure they'll join a sizable number of residents from others areas around these schools as well. North Druid Hills-Briarcliff Patch will have the story for you after the meeting.

Here's a full description of the proposal from tonight's agenda:

SummaryThe DCSD will enter into an agreement with T-Mobile to allow the carrier to install and maintain twelve wireless towers on twelve school properties.  This agreement does not restrict DCSD to only work with T-Mobile on placement of towers on school properties but is providing access to the twelve locations provided in the proposal and written contract with T-Mobile.
DetailsThree vendors inquired about the possible placement of wireless carrier towers on school system properties.  Each vendor was provided the guidelines to submit a written proposal outlining the location, tower details, proposed location within the property and financial terms.  In the spring of 2011 T-Mobile provided a comprehensive review of DeKalb County outlining 12 potential school properties that had areas of deficient wireless coverage.  In the spring a presentation was completed for the Budget, Finance and Facility Committee as well as a presentation to the full Board of Education at a called Committee of the Whole. 

T-Mobile completed twelve community meetings at each of the proposed locations and provided details about the tower, possible placement location within the property, radio frequency information as well as responded to questions regarding safety. The meetings were announced on the school system web page, flyers sent with students, advertised on school marquees, announced in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in the Metro news section, announced on WSB television and radio. At this time the proposal has been presented to the Board of Education, reviewed by DCSD legal counsel and a formal contract has been submitted for review.
Financial ImpactThe following terms are in place for the proposed contract:

T-Mobile will pay the DeKalb County School District $2,000 per site location for six months as they complete the necessary design and permitting requirements.  If at the end of the six months T-Mobile still has locations under design and approval, T-Mobile will pay the school district another $2,000 per location for the next six months. 

As construction begins on a property, T-Mobile will pay the DeKalb County School District a one-time $25,000 fee and the rental agreement for that property will begin.  Rent will be paid for the location in one check to the district, in advance for each year of the lease. 

The DeKalb County School District will enter a 30 year lease with a 3% escalation fee built in during each year of the lease. 

T-Mobile will pay the DeKalb County School District a one time $25,000 fee per location for each co-locator that is installed on the original tower.  Up to four co-locators could attach to a single tower.
T-Mobile will include monthly rental fees paid to the school district for each co-locator attached to a tower.  These fees are also subject to the 3% escalation fee per year.             

ContactsMr. Steven Donahue, Executive Director, Plant Services, 678.676.1564

Here's previous Patch coverage of the issue:

The board meeting begins at 6pm. The cell tower issue is far down on the agenda. It will likely take the board several hours to get to the issue and vote.

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