State officials have signed off on an agreement between Verizon Wireless and Doña Ana County to build a new cellular tower at the Talavera Volunteer Fire District station near the base of Soledad Canyon Road.
District 3 Doña Ana County Commissioner Benjamin L. Rawson applauded the state Board of Finance’s action to approve the agreement so that construction can begin on the 75-foot tower, which will resemble a large flagpole that is designed to be virtually invisible from a distance of one-quarter mile or more.
“This tower will enhance cellular service to a large number of my constituents,” Rawson said. “And it will do so in a way that has no significant adverse impact on the view shed of the area.”
The tower – for which a building permit already is in process – will be located on a 30-by-50-foot parcel on the southeast corner of the fire station property. It will be surrounded by an 8-foot concrete wall. There will be adequate room on the tower for Verizon to sublet space to other cellular providers who may want to boost their coverage areas.
In exchange for using the property, Verizon will pay the county $13,200 in annual lease payments, with that amount to rise by 3 percent each year for the term of the 25-year lease. The agreement also provides for up to five five-year lease extensions.
“This is a win for all parties involved,” Rawson said. “Cellular customers in this area have long complained about low signal strength, which is annoying when you’re trying to have a conversation, but can be disastrous if you need to call for emergency assistance. I appreciate the good-faith negotiations by all the parties, and I look very much forward to seeing the project through to a speedy completion.”
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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.
Thanks, Talavera Community resident Tracy Hadley, for the heads up.