School board trades less rent for guaranteed payment

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By Steve Waters, Sports Editor

The School Board of Levy County approved a renegotiated tower lease with T-Mobile during their meeting on Tuesday that reduces the rent, but guarantees a 10-year income stream.

The tower is on school district property, and the school board rents the tower space to the cellular company.

With the new lease, T-Mobile will pay the school district $19,000 a year, down from $20,700. But T-Mobile will ensure the income for 10 years, whereas under the old 30-year lease they could cancel with 90 days notice.

The lease also provides for a 10 percent increase every five years starting in 2015 for 25 years and allows for a 10-year rent holiday starting in 2026.

Speaking to the board, Director of Finance Bob Clemons said that it made sense to keep the income stream from T-Mobile, despite the reduced rate.

"You'll notice there's a lot of towers out there now," Clemons said. "When we first went into this agreement with them, there weren't many options. But there are a lot of options out there now. So there's a possibility that they could call us in the future and say they don't need our services anymore."

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