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Manlius Village Board plays hardball with AT

The Manlius Village Board voted unanimously to send AT&T a message.

Village Attorney Jeff Brown said AT&T sent the village a letter in July saying that the company planned to renew its rental fee for usage of the Manlius' cell phone tower, located behind the police department in the village.

Two weeks later, AT&T called the village to say that they would like to renew the contract at a much lower price.

"Their second proposal would substantially reduce our position," Brown said at the Aug. 28 meeting. Terms of the second offer were not publicly disclosed.

AT&T currently pays the lowest rental fees of the five major telephone companies that use the tower.

The contract with AT&T has been in place since September 1992, and is up for renewal every three years. Terms state that the contract will automatically be renewed as of Oct. 1 if there are no amendments or revisions made to the contract from either side.

Brown said that the cell phone tower in the village is one of the only towers in the area.

Village Trustee Eric Krouse made a motion for a counter offer set at $15,000, which is the median rental fee for the other area providers. Krouse noted that AT&T currently enjoys the lowest rental fees of all phone companies with which the village contracts.

The motion passed unanimously.

Trustee recommends shorter meetings

Krouse recommended early in Tuesday night's meeting that he'd like to see village meetings run a bit more efficiently, citing that the previous meeting went on until midnight following a lengthy presentation and an executive session.

"I think other trustees will agree with me when I say that these late meetings have a negative impact on my day job," Krouse said. "I think we should shoot to be done, at least with the public part of the meetings, by 9 p.m."

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