Another Pasco school to get a cell tower lease deal
In an ongoing effort to raise added revenue, the Pasco County school district is poised to ink another deal to allow a cell phone tower to rise on a school campus.
Seven Oaks Elementary School in Wesley Chapel would be the latest site for a tower. The deal would bring the district $24,000 a year in rent, with annual increases of 3.5 percent. District officials have estimated the income from the 30-year agreement would surpass $1 million.
The School Board is set to consider the lease at its meeting Tuesday. District planning director Chris Williams said about 25 parents attended a recent meeting about the tower, and most were opposed to it and intended to urge the board to reject the deal.
"Their feeling is that cell towers are dangerous," Williams said.
Board members have heard arguments against the towers in the past, when a handful of people fought to stop them at John Long Middle and Sand Pine Elementary. Each time, though, the board has taken staff advice that there's no convincing research proving some of the most frightening health claims relating to the radiation coming from the towers.
The district currently collects rent from towers at Long Middle, Fivay High, Sunlake High and a future middle school site in Meadow Pointe. It has also approved leases at Sand Pine and Gulf Trace elementary schools, but the towers are not yet built.