|Mount Greylock Could Face Cell-Tower Lawsuit|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
08:35PM / Wednesday, February 29, 2012
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The company hoping to install a cell tower at the high school sent the district a warning shot, suggesting that a lawsuit could be coming.
Florida Tower Partners sent a letter to the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee saying it wants the $150,000 it spent so far and claiming that the school district has not made "good faith efforts" to fulfill a lease the two sides agreed upon.
"In the end, without a wholesale change in the efforts of the school district to fulfill its obligation under the lease we will have no alternative but to take next steps to recover our investment in this project from the school district," the letter reads.
The letter, dated Feb. 1 and signed by the company's Vice President John Stevens, alleges that "instead of support" school officials have "frustrated, at every possible turn, the terms of the lease."
After two years, the project is no closer to being completed and the company has spent more than $150,000 trying to appease school officials, residents and town officials, the letter reads.
The letter does not specifically state a lawsuit is imminent but that is what school officials are concerned about. The School Committee was expected to discuss the tower on Tuesday night but tabled the conversation.
The company and AT&T have spent the last two years in negotiation with school officials. The district signed an agreement with the company to locate the tower near the football field after numerous conversations about possible sites.
Nearby South Williamstown residents jumped into the fray and fought the tower over concerns about the view. The School Committee then urged the companies to look at moving the tower to Peter Phelps' land on Oblong Road. The company did but later pulled out of that location because of endangered species regulations. The School Committee took no action on allowing another site located behind the school, which was also contended by neighbors.
The Zoning Board of Appeals denied the company a permit to build the tower at the agreed-upon location, near the football field — siding with the residents' concerns about the view and the lack of other options. However, the company officials say they had no other options than the football field site because that is what was agreed to by the school.
The letter is available below.
Florida Towers Letter to School Committee 2012