The Development Authority of Floyd County will not rush into a decision on an offer to buy property where a cell tower sits in the Floyd County Industrial Park off U.S. 27 South.

The authority board learned Wednesday that the tower owner, SBA Communications, pays more than $1,500 a month in rent. Right now, it’s one of the authority’s primary sources of revenue.

SBA Communications originally offered $282,000 for the tower adjacent to the Carlsen Precision Manufacturing building in the industrial park. The authority turned down a similar offer back in 2012.

Corey Townsend, the treasurer for the authority, said the company has upped its offer to $305,000, which is roughly equal to about 15 years’ worth of rental payments at the current rate.

Townsend explained that there are only two cellular service providers on the tower right now, Sprint and AT&T. He said there is some concern that Sprint may come off the tower as the result of its merger with T-Mobile.

Assistant County Manager Gary Burkhalter suggested the authority hold off until negotiations with the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority for a split of Payment in Lieu of Taxes fees is completed.

Companies pay PILOT fees to a bond-issuing authority instead of paying property taxes.

The program is used as an inducement to attract industries to the community.

“We need to bring that back to the forefront,” Burkhalter said. “It would be greater than the revenue stream you are getting from the cell tower.”

The monthly fee being collected now totals $18,240 a year.

The previous agreement resulted in the DAFC receiving more than $215,000 spread over four years, beginning in late 2014. That deal ended in December 2017.

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