Corinth aldermen gave final approval this week to a lease agreement with Verizon Wireless, which will allow the company to put up a new cell tower.

It will resolve a dispute which had gone to court.

The city and county will lease a piece of land near Corinth Fire Station #4 on South Harper Road to the company. The triangular lot is jointly owned by the city and county.

The one point that had been left to work out was whether the company would be charged an additional $100 monthly fee for any additional transmitters or receivers added to the tower. The city decided to accept the lease even though Verizon declined that part of the proposed terms.

The company will pay $12,000 annually with an even split between the city and county.

A representative of Verizon has previously said the company needs a tower in the area to improve a significant gap in coverage in the east part of the city, particularly the South Harper Road and Highway 72 area. The tower is expected to alleviate problems with dropped calls, slow data speeds and non-connection of calls.

Rural Cellular Corporation doing business as Verizon Wireless sued the city and members of the Board of Aldermen in their official capacities in September after the board denied a zoning variance for a proposed tower off of Sara Lane behind Mapco on Highway 72. An attorney representing the business told the board it was the only available property Verizon could find to place a tower to improve its service in the city.

That property is zoned C-2, which would allow a tower, but only up to 50 feet in height. The city’s Board of Adjustment recommended denial of the variance, citing safety and aesthetic concerns, and the Board of Aldermen followed the recommendation with a unanimous vote against granting the variance. Aldermen mentioned concerns including the proximity of the property to Highway 72 and an apartment complex.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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