Local Company Closer to Leasing Space on Toccoa Water Tower for Wireless Internet

The city of Toccoa appears to reach an understanding with a local company to lease space on a city water tank.

Earlier this month, Gunby Communications of Toccoa asked the city if it could lease space on the city’s Meadowbrook Water Tank in order to build out its wireless Internet network.

Gunby Communications General Manager John Smith said their goal is to provide more service to its existing wireless Internet customers and add more customers where possible.

The company originally proposed a barter agreement with the city, but city commissioners proposed that a lease agreement with a monthly lease fee be proposed instead.

Monday, Gunby proposed a 10-year agreement at $600 per month, with the fee jumping to $700 per month after the first 10 years if the contract is renewed.

Toccoa Vice-Mayor Andy Pavliscsak said he has concerns about locking the city in to an agreement of that length.

“I would like to enter into the agreement that, if for whatever reason, the technology changes, improves, or whatever, or if some other technology comes along, we would be in a position to take advantage of it,” said Pavliscsak.  “If we lock ourselves into a 10-year period, we would not be able to do that.”

However, Smith said his proposal would not keep the city from entering into other agreements down the road.

“Nowhere in the contract did I ask for or was I expecting exclusive use of the tower,” said Smith.

Pavliscsak asked that the agreement clearly state it is non-exclusive.

Commissioners then agreed to that by consensus, as well as to the proposed lease fees and terms involved in the contract.

Toccoa City Attorney John Dickerson will draw up a formal contract for the city to officially approve.