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Cellphone towers could signal revenue for Armstrong County

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Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

Cellular phone towers on county-owned properties could lead to additional revenue for Armstrong County.

The Armstrong County Commissioners approved an agreement with McMurray-based LJS Development Corp. to lease vacant county properties and rooftops to install cellular phone towers.

The county would receive 30 percent of all revenues from towers installed on vacant land and 70 percent of revenues from towers installed on county-owned rooftops, according to the county 911 coordinator, Ronald Baustert.

Last year, LJS Development approached the county about marketing its properties to cellphone carriers, who may want to install towers to offer 4G service, which would provide high-speed mobile ultra-broadband Internet access and phone service in Armstrong County.

Baustert said county officials presented LJS Development with a list of vacant properties and rooftops, which the company plans to present to several cellular phone carriers.

“The carriers have to evaluate the properties and decide where, but right now there is no time frame on when or where the towers will be installed or how much revenue they could bring in,” Baustert said. “But they're looking primarily at county-owned, undeveloped land and rooftops.”

The towers will not be a county expense — the cellphone service providers would be responsible for the installation and maintenance of each tower, he added.

“This is pure revenue for the county, with absolutely no overhead cost,” Baustert said.

The county commissioners unanimously agreed to allow LJS Development to market the properties to cellphone providers.

Commissioner Bob Bower said the agreement is a good deal for the county.

“This sounds like a win-win situation,” he said.

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