The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 27, 2013

Board discusses use of cell tower

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 — Richfield appointed a new head of a department, looked at a lease renewal for the Nextel tower and discussed the Golden Spark Award at Monday’s council meeting.

At last month’s meeting Floyd Wilson, a former Richfield mayor, was appointed to fill the vacant seat on Richfield’s board of commissioners. However, Wilson still hadn’t been appointed a specific duty.

“We need to find you a job, Mr. Floyd,” Mayor Jim Misenheimer said.

Barry Byrd, commissioner of streets and utilities, said he had too much on his plate as commissioner of streets and utilities. He nominated Wilson to serve in the capacity of commissioner of streets and zoning.

“You’re going to give him two jobs?” asked Commis-sioner Terry Almond.

“He asked for it,” Byrd said.

Wilson was appointed to the positions without any objections.

Located in Richfield Park, Nextel pays Richfield for use of the land for its tower. The town nets around $15,000 a year from just allowing Nextel to have the tower in the park.

Nextel has made a proposal to Richfield that it be allowed to extend the lease on the tower for an additional 25 years. For letting it do this, Nextel is offering to give the town a 15 percent increase every five years on the amount it pays to have the tower. The company is also offering a sign-on bonus of $14,000.

“How do we know that what they are offering us is the same as what they are offering other municipalities?” asked Byrd.

Commissioner Terry Deese wanted to know when the last time Nextel increased the rent it was paying, saying he didn’t want them to be about to give a rate increase but be able to avoid it due to signing a new lease extension.

The council made a motion to table the resolution until the next meeting.

There was talk at last month’s meeting about the mayor turning down a $50,000 grant from Walmart.

Walmart offered the money to Richfield Elementary School for the purpose of feeding hungry children.

Second Harvest will receive the funds and will work in conjunction with the school to distribute the food to needy children. Eight local churches have been running the Backpack Program at Richfield Elementary. The school should begin to receive food shipments in March.

In other Richfield news, the board voted to credit a restaurant owner’s sewage  account, for waste that was pumped, in accordance with town statutes.

Jerry Cotton appeared before the board to request that something be done about the noise caused by animals (donkeys, dogs and chickens) at his home. Unfortunately, Cotton’s home is outside town limits and Richfield is unable to do anything for him. The commissioners did suggest he try contacting the sheriff next.

The board of commissioners recessed the meeting until another could be called.