New deal on telecom easement to pay for water tower painting

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 7:00 a.m.

By Michael DePietro

Interim Tribune Editor

A new lease in the city of Niagara for the telecommunications department at the community’s water tower is paid for a much-needed paint job.

On Tuesday, the Niagara City Board approved a resolution to enter into a contract with Crescendo Capital Partners for Verizon and T-Mobile services. Payments are to be made in installments of $ 160,000 per year for a period of 10 years.

“The tower … needs repainting, and this helps us cover some of the cost,” said Supervisor Lee Wallace. “This significantly increases (the sales) we would get from the spire over a 10 year period. As you can see, it would be $ 1.6 million. We’re not even close to that at the moment. So this is a nice project for us and a nice little stroke of luck for the city. “

Wallace said extra money would be especially helpful now that the city, like many in the nation, has suffered a significant financial blow since the pandemic began.

“At a time when (the city) is having a hard time making ends meet, every time you can make some money, it helps,” said Wallace.

While painting the tower has been discussed for several years, the problem worsened in June. Robert Lannon of GHD Engineering told the board that the exterior of the water tower had been badly weathered after it was last painted in 2001.

There Lannon said that some exposed areas showed the original mantle of the tower. He added that areas of the legs appear to be green in color. He explained that it was actually the primer that showed where the top coat had peeled off.

The Board of Directors awarded the “Project for Painting Exterior Water Tanks” to Utility Service Co. Inc. for USD 1,581,600.

Lannon explained the high cost of painting. He said an adhesion test showed that the new paint wouldn’t simply adhere to the old, peeling paint, so a simple top coat wasn’t an option. He also explained tests that indicated that lead paint meant that all of the existing paint had to be sandblasted before a primer could be applied.

Lannon said the new paint job should take at least 20 years.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilor Richard Sirianni asked how Crescendo’s offer was compared to an earlier offer. During the city government’s August 5 working meeting, Wallace mentioned an earlier offer from Blackdot Capital and Real Estate that would have paid the city $ 450,000 over 13 years.

“Well, that was the same, except the difference was that their company’s offering was much less and we actually wanted to give them rights to it forever. It’s not forever, ”said Wallace. “And the other thing about this company, if they find (another cellular service) to climb that tower in the future, we’ll get 50% of that too. So it’s really good business for us.

Councilor Marc Carpenter said, “So if you look at the long-term situation and the cost of repainting and renovating the water tower, this will essentially be the best it can be.”

“Pretty much,” Wallace replied.

According to the agenda, the start date for payments is negotiated and contractually agreed.

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