McCordsville considers addition of 150-foot cell tower

MCCORDSVILLE — A cellphone company is eyeing land beside McCordsville Town Hall for a 150-foot cellphone tower.

Members of the McCordsville Town Council recently agreed to continue negotiations with the undisclosed company seeking a 6,000-square-foot plot of land to place the cellphone tower. The company has proposed building the tower next to town hall, 6282 W. County Road 800N. The deal is not final; the company is still shopping around for other locations that would suit its needs, town officials said.

If the deal goes through, it could improve the area’s cellular reception and strengthen the radio signal for emergency responders, including police and firefighters, local officials said. The terms of the deal, including the amount of money the town could make through the lease agreement, have not been released.

At a recent town council meeting, local officials said it’s common for lease agreements for cell towers to span 100 years.

The land surrounding town hall is a logical site to build, said Ryan Crum, McCordsville building and planning director. The town’s wastewater treatment facility is located behind the building, and two water towers sit close to the property also. It makes sense to group those types of structures in one area rather than spread them across the community, he said.

Though the tower could present an unsightly distraction for residents, town hall is mostly surrounded by farm land, Crum noted. Designating that spot for the tower would limit the potential for it to be placed in a more prominent location in town.

Paul Casey, assistant chief for the McCordsville Police Department, said he’s hopeful the tower could increase the reception of the department’s radio services.

Much of the land in McCordsville has a lower elevation than the surrounding land, which can make it difficult to receive and send radio signals from certain areas.

Currently, the department’s radio signals are sent from towers in Greenfield and Pendleton.

As McCordsville grows in population, it’s inevitable that a tower will be built in town, Crum said.

“Cellphone towers are one of those necessary evils that we all need today in order to stay connected,” Crum said.

As negotiations move forward, McCordsville town council attorney Gregg Morelock suggested the town consider adding a provision requiring the company to disassemble the tower if it at some point over the lease period it’s no longer in use.

Crum said there’s no timeline set for the development, so he’s unsure how long the negotiation process could take.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.