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Legal committee forwards bid, legal agreement


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A Roswell City Council committee has recommended a bid and a proposed legal agreement to the entire governing body.

Three members of the Legal Committee participated in the group’s special meeting Thursday afternoon, called originally to give additional consideration to a telecommunications tower option and legal agreement before the governing body’s meeting this week.

At a March 25 meeting, Councilors Judy Stubbs, Barry Foster and Jason Perry had decided to hold off on a vote on the tower legal agreement, partly because the exhibits had been blank at that time.

But added to the Thursday agenda in the meantime was the bid for a landfill cell. The meeting included participation by Stubbs, Foster and Perry. George Peterson did not participate in the Thursday or March 25 meetings.

City Engineer Louis Najar said that J&H Services of Albuquerque was the only bidder for the construction of the Unit 5A cell at the Roswell Municipal Landfill, but that the city has worked before with the company, including on a prior landfill cell, and considered the bid responsive.

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“I think the bid looks good,” said Scott McKitrick of Souder Miller & Associates, which has worked with the city on planning for the cell. “I would have liked to have seen more, but I think this is a good, responsive bid and I have faith that the contractor can get the job done in a timely manner.”

The bid is for $3,596,785.60, including gross receipts taxes. The committee recommended the bid with a 3-0 vote, and the city council is due to consider awarding of the contract during its April 8 meeting.

The option and lease agreement with Gravity Pad Partners II LLC of Corrales, New Mexico, was forwarded with a recommendation to the city council by a vote of 2-1. Stubbs had some remaining questions at the time and decided not to vote for a recommendation.

Gravity Pad Partners intends to build two monopoles for cellphone and wireless equipment for T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T at the Roswell Air Center.

The new poles are needed because the existing water tower with its wireless antennae and other equipment at the Roswell Air Center is due to come down within the year, to be replaced by two new water towers at two different sites. The telecommunications equipment cannot go on the new water towers.

Gravity Pad Partners wants to build the two monopoles at East Gillis Street and East Earl Cummings Loop, one on each side of a new water tower at that site.

The agreement gives the company an option for about 2,500 square feet of land and the air above it for up to two years. If the company decides to go ahead with construction, it would have a lease for an initial term of five years with seven renewals of five years each, with some ability for termination by either party in cases of breach.

A company representative said that the 40-year term is needed for Gravity Pad, as well as the wireless companies.

“It is because of the upfront costs to build the tower on our end,” said Michael Miley. “We need to know that we are going to have some kind of return on investment and be able to operate for a long time. On top of that, we need to be able to provide that security to the individual operators.”

He said that wireless companies make significant investments to reconfigure their networks and equipment.

Committee members were able to get some changes they requested. Those include adding an annual rent increase equal to at least the consumer price index (CPI), submission of audited financial records to ensure that the city receives the agreed-upon 20% of rental income collected by Gravity Pad for cellphone or internet equipment on its poles, and a clause that allows the city to terminate with the approval of the majority of the city council and 180 days’ notice.

The rent in the draft agreement has been set to $1,020 a month for the initial term.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.