Bronson looking at cell tower deal

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Bronson officials are considering a land rental deal that could bring in thousands of dollars in extra revenue each year.

Verizon Wireless has approached the town in hopes officials will rent a small section of land on the corner of the James H. Cobb Park where the company will erect a cell phone tower.

The company has offered to pay $1,000 a month in rent each year with an additional 2 percent fee tacked on each year. Verizon is looking at a 25-year contract, which, in the end, could bring in an estimated $384,000.

"They would rather give it to a municipality or a non-profit (than to a private land holder)," said Bronson Town Clerk Kelli Brettel at Monday night's regular meeting.

Council members made no vote on the matter, wanting instead to first check into some of the specifics of the contract and rental fees offered.


Bronson wants trucks on main drag

A request to make a Bronson street one way was side-stepped Monday night when the issue, as a request by resident Dick Garner, turned more toward having a public hearing on a "No thru trucks" sign that would cut down on heavy truck use.

Garner, according to Utilities Director Jimmy Dunford, said that drivers are turning onto Oak Avenue from Court Street in an attempt to avoid the light on highway 24 where the road intersects with U.S. 27.

"He asks that it be converted to one way," Dunford said.

A woman living in the area objected, saying she enjoyed the ease of being able to travel both ways.

"I don't feel like people are using that street to avoid the traffic (light)."

Vice Mayor Beatrice Roberts, who works for the post office, said making the street one way would hold up mail delivery in the area.

Council Member Bruce Greenlee said it might be more appropriate to hold a public hearing on the designation of Court Street as "No thru trucks."

Court Street already has a sign to this effect, but Greenlee said there needs to be a public hearing making the designation official in order to give law enforcement the ability to pull trucks over.

The Council unanimously approved  the preparation of an ordinance on the matter by Town Attorney Steven Warm. Warm said the ordinance needs to be written before a hearing can take place.

Bronson looks at audit company to review utility bills

The Town of Bronson could see a refund on its utility bills if the council later approves a deal with a Melbourne company that looks for mistakes by utility companies.

Rich Frank, of Audit Associates, told the council Monday night that 70 percent of the typical utility bills his company inspects have overcharged customers.

"That's quite a commentary on the good faith of utilities," said Town Attorney Steven Warm.

Frank said that it's more the customer's responsibility to examine their bills to make sure they're not being overcharged.

Franks said that if a deal is struck between his company and the town that 50 percent of the refunds would be returned, while Audit Associates would keep the remainder. The company can go back as far as 36 months, he said, and looks at bills associated with electric companies, telephone, water, sewer, gas, Internet and cable.

"We just need a letter of authorization to get access to bills with the utility provider," Frank said.

The council said it would review the proposal and get back to Audit Associates soon.

"We'll talk about it, Mr. Frank," said Council Member Berlon Weeks