By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Madison Board of Education rejected a proposal from SBA Communications to construct a 145 foot cell tower on the grounds of Asbury Elementary.
The company was seeking a 30-year lease for a 75 x 75 foot space at the school.
Groveport Madison Treasurer Tony Swartz said a dollar amount for the lease had not yet been negotiated, but he said it is possible the lease could have brought the district a total of around $1 million over the 30 years.
“One of the things voters asked for us to do during the levy campaign was to find alternate sources of revenue,” said Swartz.
Board President Bryan Shoemaker said residents attending a public meeting on the issue on Nov. 10 made it clear they did not want the cell tower in their neighborhood.
“It’s something they don’t want,” said Shoemaker. “I think moving forward with it would cause us more harm than the revenue the tower bring in.”
Board member Nathan Slonaker thought the board should at least negotiate to find out how much revenue the tower could bring in before dropping the idea.
“The neighbors don’t want it and I agree with them,” said board member Libby Gray.
“We could always bring the issue back up later if the residents change their mind,” said Shoemaker.
Swartz added, “It’s not always about the money.”