The City of Lathrop hasn’t even built the 120-foot SCADA tower in River Islands yet, and already two cellular companies have reached out about renting space on the massive fixture to ensure that they’re able to provide service to the growing community that will eventually boast more than 11,000 homes.

Earlier this month the Lathrop City Council gave its blessing on the city’s plans to move forward with constructing a taller-than-required SCADA tower in River Islands to ensure that the city will be able to have facilities for its own communication equipment while at the same time having space to rent to communications companies that will help cover the cost of the maintenance and upkeep of the tower.

The rent that is collected from communications companies will also help pay for the section of the tower that was not required per the agreement between the developer and the city but was added at the city’s request to provide for more flexibility when it comes to outfitting the tower with the equipment necessary to generate revenue.

Because the height of the tower will exceed that of the maximum height allowed for a tower of its kind by a private entity, the City of Lathrop will take ownership of the tower and the land that it sits on so that it can be extended to the 120-feet that was listed in the documentation provided to members of the council. Because River Islands Development transferred land at the area known as the Employment Center to a limited liability corporation that will be used for building out that particular portion of the massive development, the city entered into an agreement with the River Islands Employment Center.

The city’s ownership of the tower and the ground it sits on will also allow for the city to enter into the contracts with cellular providers, the administration of which benefits residents of River Islands by giving them one centrally-located cell tower site with extensive line-of-sight advantages over individually-maintained towers throughout the development.

During the same council meeting the city also garnered the council’s blessing to move forward with an agreement with New Cingular Wireless PCS to allow the company to install its equipment on the second-highest platform on the new SCADA tower at a cost of $2,200-a-month for the space for a lease term of 5 years. The city will be able to increase the rent by 2.5 percent every year starting in the second year of the agreement, and provision was included in the agreement to allow for an automatic renewal of the lease for four additional terms of five years – extending the life of the lease with the company out to 25 years in all if fully exercised.

In addition to room for Lathrop’s own communication equipment, there will be room on the tower for four separate cell companies to mount necessary equipment and will also provide space for up to four cellular antennae.