10/10/04 — Faison to charge for use of tower

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Faison to charge for use of tower

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 10, 2004 2:08 AM

FAISON -- R2 Communications is closer to an agreement with the town to use its water tower for a wireless Internet antenna.

Rich Kaiser had been trying for more than a year, off and on, to get an agreement with the Faison town board. On Wednesday the board voted unanimously to set the monthly rental rate antenna space at $250 a month.

Town Attorney Garrett Ludlum said he and Kaiser have a basic agreement except for two things, space rental and indemnity. He said the contract between the town and R2 Communications doesn't need an indemnification clause, which Kaiser wanted to make sure the town was liable for any negligent acts by employees. He said if any town employee did anything to damage the equipment, the town has insurance to cover that liability.

"We don't need the indemnity provision," said Ludlum. He told the town board it has already waived its sovereign immunity by taking out a liability insurance policy.

Kaiser said he would discuss the matter with his lawyer.

He told the board he had wanted to pay a token rent, but town officials had been advised to charge more. Mayor Bill Igoe said he had heard of antennae renting at $1,800 a month on one town's water tower.

"Did we just go through 15 months of a misunderstanding?" asked Kaiser, who had anticipated something more like $25 a month. "We would necessarily take any fee for rental of space and pass it on to the customers."

Igoe said the consultant who does maintenance on the water tower advised the town to charge at least $500 a month.

Jamie Davis of NBox Media in Calypso was also at the meeting. He told the board he is already providing wireless service in Faison. He said he began last month and already has three customers. He said he, too, would be interested in installing an antenna on the water tower.