In December the borough awarded Gaelic Communications the right to construct a cell tower at the municipal building. More than four months later, the project -- expected to bring in annual revenues to the borough of anywhere from $32,537 to $150,000 -- has failed to progress.
"Because of the economic situation in the state, [the contractor] has nobody that wants to lease space on the tower," borough manager Tom Metzler said Friday. "So obviously he’s not going to put the tower up until he has leasees."
Under the terms of the contract, Gaelic was to construct and maintain the cell tower, while paying the borough an annual rental fee of $32,537. On top of that, the tower was expected to bring in additional revenue through its capacity to support co-location of up to five carriers.
Co-location refers to the situation when multiple carriers occupy a single cell tower. For instance, once Gaelic erects the tower, additional locators can lease space on it to mount their own equipment. The borough would then receive a percentage of those leases.
In December, then-councilman Ed Trawinski said with four or five co-locators on the tower, the borough should be able to bring in anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 per year.
Without even a tower at this point, however, additional revenue from co-locators is a moot point.
"I sure would have welcomed that extra revenue," said Metzler, who continues to look for ways to bridge the borough's 2013 budget shortfall.