Wilton picks Verizon as potential cell tower partner

A monopole cell tower, much like another of the town's monopoles shown above, is being discussed for School Road.

A monopole cell tower, much like another of the town’s monopoles shown above, is being discussed for School Road.

Alexander Soule / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — The town has agreed to partner with Verizon to potentially erect a monopole cell tower behind the parking lot of the bus depot on School Road near Middlebrook Middle School.

According to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice on Monday, she and Town Planner Michael Wrinn will have to present the full lease agreement to the Board of Selectmen for approval. The next Board of Selectmen meeting is set for Oct. 4.

If the board agrees to enter into the lease, the project would still have to be passed by the Connecticut Siting Council, who must sign off on all cell towers for any municipality in the state.

Per the lease agreement posted on the town’s website, Wilton would be paid $30,000 annually to lease out the town-owned property to Verizon. Rent will also “increase annually during the intitial term and each renewal term effective on each anniversary date” of the commencement of the agreement by 2.75 percent.

Wrinn spoke at a Board of Selectmen meeting on Sept. 21, saying the tentative partnership with Verizon meets “all the specs” the town is looking for in terms of location and size after the company returned its request for proposal. While the location is ideally located near many of the town’s schools and tucked just off of U.S. Route 7/Danbury Road, the size of the monpole is expected to reach 123 feet tall.

The proposed monopole will be a tall, thin structure hid among the trees near the bus depot. It will not feature infrastructure jutting from “branches,” as some other cell towers would.

“This will allow us to improve coverage,” Wrinn said.

The town currently has towers in its parameters that service T-Mobile/Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will also look at the lease agreement and ensure that the project would coincide with the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, according to Wrinn.

The town will reserve the right to terminate the lease agreement with 30 days notice if the project has not received final approval for construction from the Connecticut Siting Council over an 18-month span.

Included in the lease agreement are provisions to allow for emergency services capabilities to be included on the cell tower, including leasing opportunities for other cell providers.