Wednesday, 09 September 2020 16:15

Rockingham moving forward with water tank lease deal; E. Lazelle Marks Jr. honored

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The city of Rockingham is selling a lease agreement for cellphone towers on a downtown water tower to a third party. The city of Rockingham is selling a lease agreement for cellphone towers on a downtown water tower to a third party. Charlie Melvin - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The City Council will move forward with a deal to sell a lease agreement for the placement of telecommunication equipment on the downtown water tank to a third party. 


According to a memorandum dated Aug. 28, 2020, the City Council approved an agreement with Cellco Partnership to lease the water tank located downtown next to the Rockingham Police Department, to place “telecommunication equipment” on it. The contract was valued in the same memorandum at $714,295.70 over 25 years. 

The deal will see this lease agreement sold to a third party, SBA Site Management, LLC  for $409,400 as stated in a letter of intent dated Aug. 11, 2020. 

The agreement will give SBA a 50-year easement allowing SBA “the exclusive use of a portion of the property for the installation, removal, operation and maintenance of multiple radio and telecommunication systems, video systems and any other communications systems.”

Also according to the letter of intent, the city will receive 65% of the gross rent collected by SBA “from any additional tenants installed on the site.” 

If closed, this will be the third of such deals the city has sold, according to a memorandum from Assistant City Manager John Massey dated Aug. 28, 2020. 

According to city manager Monty Crump, these include the water tank behind Browder Park and a tower on Midway Road.

Massey’s memorandum says that the sale of the leases is advantageous to the city because the “buyer of the lease agreement assumes the risk of the lessee opting out prior to the end of the agreement — only the first five-year period is guaranteed.” 

Additionally, Massey’s memorandum says “the sale generates an immediate lump sum of cash for the City that can be put toward the large project…” 

Massey said city staff recommends using the funds generated by this sale to continue work on the former Food King building. 

Mayor Steve Morris also noted that on the day of the meeting he made a proclamation that Sept. 8, 2020 was E. Lazelle Marks, Jr.  Day throughout the City of Rockingham.” 

According to the proclamation, Marks has served on many local boards “that have enhanced the livability and quality of life in Rockingham” and “...Whereas all of the items listed above, plus numerous other projects, programs, and items of charity and goodwill, some known only by the recipients, have helped to make Rockingham a better place to live, work, and play …”

Marks is the longtime owner and operator of Medical Center Pharmacy and and Medical Park Pharmacy. The day of the proclamation was Marks’ 78th birthday. 

(See the proclamation as an attachment to this story.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 September 2020 16:57