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Suwanee exploring possibility of mini cell towers

SUWANEE -- Preliminary research is underway in Suwanee to potentially add mini cell towers to city property.

City Council and staff two weeks ago began discussions after Paul Reynolds representing a company called Communication Management Association contacted city staff and made a presentation about its product. The pitch is to attach cell towers or technology to city property like buildings and light poles in hopes to improve "dead" areas, high consumption spots or basements where cell service can be inconsistent, city manager Marty Allen said.

"I've seen them when they're on top of light pole or encapsulating the pole itself," Allen said. "In some of them, the light pole itself becomes a big antenna."

While Mayor Pro Tem Dan Foster, a manager of enterprise data solutions with Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta, recused himself from the discussion, the rest of the City Council gave staff a thumbs up to pursue more information about the product and potential benefits for the city.

The same company, CMA, this fall contracted with the city of Woodstock to connect the city with interested wireless providers.

There wouldn't be a cost to the city, Allen said, but could be a potential revenue source, although a more specific figure is unknown. The city could receive a percentage of all lease or license payments.

"The revenue part, certainly is always nice, that's not what would be driving it," Allen said. "What would be driving it is performance for our community, our parks, our facilities."

Each mini tower has about a 1,000 foot diameter.

If city officials are pleased with the information they receive, Allen said they would discuss it with other communities and could put out a request for proposal.

But any decision to move forward is on the city's timeline, and could take months, Allen said.

There are currently four traditional cell towers within the city limits, Allen said.

Comments

JustAnotherCitizen 1 year, 8 months ago

So the new mayor of Suwanee, an executive of Verizon and the same person who JUST gave a speech at the Chamber's Tech Breakfast in November on the subject of wireless and mini cell towers, has recused himself from this vote? Are the voters stupid? Are we supposed to believe that the mayor's connections with Verizon are not, in some fashion, playing a role in the city's decision to buy mini cell towers?

This is far too similar to a Gwinnett County land purchase. I hope the city of Suwanee sees how badly this looks and reconsiders.

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Karl 1 year, 8 months ago

@ JustAnotherCitizen

Did you even read the article before commenting? Dan Foster is NOT the mayor of Suwanee. The City of Suwanee is NOT buying any mini cell towers.

Reading comprehension. Try it sometime.

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JustAnotherCitizen 1 year, 8 months ago

Karl, did YOU read it? Here's the quote, "Mayor Pro Tem Dan Foster, a manager of enterprise data solutions with Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta, recused himself from the discussion." The deal will result in revenue.

That's not difficult to understand.

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Karl 1 year, 8 months ago

Of course it's not difficult to understand, but you seem unable to do so.

As the article says, and as you typed, Foster is the Mayor PRO TEM. That is NOT the mayor.

Again, the city is NOT buying mini cell towers, as you say they are. As the article says, "There wouldn't be a cost to the city...The city could receive a percentage of all lease or license payments."

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acoustic9903 1 year, 6 months ago

JustAnotherCitizen.....Re-read the article...it specifically states that there is no cost to the city!!! Have you really read or are you guessing at what the article says....The CMA plan is to bring carriers and municipalities together to work for you!! Not building new eyesoar towers....not having the city pay for anything....but having the city's assests make money!! The carriers need the space and the city has the most real estate available...it might even lower your taxes.....Please re-read the article and understand what is really stated there.......

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R 1 year, 8 months ago

Tis the season for revenue ...

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truthtopower 1 year, 8 months ago

Civic lesson needed for the difference between Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Also, the City is not buying any towers. Don't let the facts get in your way - JustAnotherCitizen

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JustAnotherCitizen 1 year, 8 months ago

CP3, perhaps you are the one requiring a civics refresher.

The Mayor Pro Tempore either acts as the mayor (in the absence of the formal position) or acts as the mayor in said officials absence. Hmmm, that sounds to me like he is the legal acting mayor.

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cp3 1 year, 8 months ago

JustAnotherCitizen - Do you even know what a 'Mayor Pro Tem' is? Obviously not! And why is generating revenue (with noe expense) a bad thing?

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

This is a sure way to trash the entrance to the city of Suwanee. I've seen them when they're on top of light pole or encapsulating the pole itself," Allen said. "In some of them, the light pole itself becomes a big antenna." Might I add, a lightning rod as well. Quote: "While Mayor Pro Tem Dan Foster, a manager of enterprise data solutions with Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta, recused himself from the discussion, the rest of the City Council gave staff a thumbs up to pursue more information about the product and potential benefits for the city." I can assure you that Mr. Foster persuaded the rest of the council to vote for this. There is absolutely no way he didn't get involved in this mess, if in fact he wasn't the one to even bring it up. I guess more money to spend trashes quality of life in Suwanee now!

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