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TOWN OF NIAGARA – Verizon Wireless would like to add six more antennas on the town water tower, but officials would like to hear a better offer.
Town Attorney Michael B. Risman told the Town Board at a work session Thursday that the cellphone company wants to increase the number of antennas on the tower behind Town Hall from nine to 15.
The number of feeder lines also would be increased, he said.
The current lease with Verizon, which expires in 2020, calls for a maximum of nine antennas and pays the town $24,000 a year for using the tower, Risman said.
The company has offered an additional $200 a month for the extra equipment.
Supervisor Steven C. Richards had another proposal.
“It’s real simple math,” Richards told Risman. “Divide nine into $24,000.”
Risman, who noted he preferred not to discuss the negotiations in public, said he would formulate a counteroffer.
One proposal mentioned was to charge an additional $200 a month per antenna, according to the discussion.
Before the price can be settled, Richards said, the tower must be inspected to ensure that it would support the additional equipment. Verizon has offered to reimburse the town for having its engineer perform a structural evaluation, Risman said.
The evaluation could cost up to $1,000.
“The engineer has to look at it first,” Richards explained. “There’s no sense in debating the price if the tower can’t support it.”
Another suggestion was to require the company to pay for a new paint job on the tower. The last paint job cost about $400,000, it was pointed out.

email: niagaranews@buffnews.com