However, city officials preferred that Sprint mount the antennas and equipment on the handrail on the top of the tower that city employees use when they need to do maintenance there. The city offered to cover the cost of the handrail, engineering approval that the handrail is capable of handling the weight of the antennas, as well as mounting provisions on the interior of the tank for Sprint to run their cables inside of the tank. The new handrail will also increase the safety for city employees performing maintenance.
Public Works Director Dan Arthur said this would cost the city about $24,750 for the new handrail. He said Sprint would cover their cost of relocating the wireless equipment and antennas to the new handrail, about $37,500. However, Sprint wants the city to give them $34,966 in the form of a 12-month abatement their monthly space-leasing fee of $2,913. Sprint has already started relocating the antennas and other wireless equipment.
Arthur said containment barriers will be erected so that crews can begin sandblasting the water tower prior to repainting it.
Officials said the antennas are currently located on the “face” of the water tank in the area where the future city logo will be located and the word “MONROE” is located now.
Arthur said the $474,700 project to repaint the elevated tank inside and outside will take about four to six weeks to complete. He said the last time this water tower had been painted was in 1997.