Communications firms pay big rental fees to town

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The water tank on South Chestnut Street in Mount Olive not only stores water, but it also provides a major source of revenue for the town.

It generates approximately $90,000 a year in rental revenue for Mount Olive’s general fund, according to town officials, who say the funds have been coming in to town coffers for 15 years or more.

Town Manager Charles Brown, who has led the town since 2006, said those rental fees were effective then.

Communications giants, Verizon, U.S. Cellular and AT&T paid big money to use the tower for their communications equipment. Only one firm was on board when he started.

Brown said not a week goes by that he doesn’t get a call or several calls from realty companies who want to purchase the rental rights.

“In other words, what they want is to give us a lump sum amount to give them the rental rights,” the town manager explained. “They are wasting their time. Why in the world would we even consider that?”

He said, $90,000 a year is a big chunk of the town’s pocketbook.

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