FAIR HAVEN TOWER NETS UNEXPECTED CASH

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By LINDA G. RASTELLI

Fair Haven’s search for a solution to its dropped-calls cellular woes ended earlier this week with deals that brought in more cash than borough officials had expected.

Now, Mayor Mike Halfacre hopes to use to the windfall to hold the line on property tax increases next year.

“The money is not earmarked, but my goal is to use it for property tax relief,” Halfacre tells redbankgreen.

On Monday night, the borough signed with Omnipoint, or T-Mobile, and three other carriers in a deal that will bring in more revenue than local officials had hoped.

The four spots on the 140-foot tower drew bids of between $32,000 and $34,200 per year, for a total of $131,887.

That figure kind of surprised borough officials. Halfacre said they’d anticipated a total of “under $100,000.”

The rent receipts will be split with the United Methodist Church on Ridge Road, which is leasing the land to the borough, with the borough retaining roughly $80,000 per year, says Halfacre.

“This is a great thing,” he added.

Construction of the tower is expected to begin immediately and will take four to six months to complete, he said.

The deal effectively put an end to efforts by Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile to erect a tower on land behind the Church of the Nativity, at the corner of Ridge and Hance. The request is scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Oct. 9, but is likely to be withdrawn by then, Halfacre said.

“There’s no reason for them to go ahead now.”

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