Village council to discuss future of public safety communications tower during next meeting

Rent, lease, demolish all on the table

By Joseph Goral
Staff Writer
LAKE ORION — The Lake Orion Village Council decided this month that they will discuss future plans for the village’s public safety communications tower during an upcoming meeting.
The decision was made after Council member Michael Lamb’s motion to authorize village administration to seek sealed competitive bids to demolish the tower. That motion failed to receive support and then council voted to postpone a decision until it received more information from village administration. Council members Nancy Moshier and Teresa Rutt were absent.
The communications tower is located in the parking lot off Shadbolt Street, near Anderson Street, next to 313 Pizza restaurant.
Lamb said he agrees with Council member Ken Van Portfliet’s efforts to look for people to rent, lease or turn the tower into an economic opportunity, but also said no one has shown any interest in the tower in the four years Lamb has been with the council.
“I think towers are a nuisance,” Lamb said. “I think the tower is going to deteriorate, we’re going to drag our feet like we always do, we’re going to end up repairing it or doing something to incur expense to maintain the tower, inspect it annually and repair the tower.”
Lamb commented that the council should authorize McClary to get bids on how much demolition would cost, then decide whether the council wants to pursue the action.
“I think the motion to just go get this and tear it down is a little bit premature,” Van Portfliet said. “There’s been discussion again about how much money can it generate, if at all, what’s the maintenance cost and also a ballpark figure for demolition. But I’m not ready to authorize bidding for the process. I’m looking forward to postponing this until the next meeting and gathering some more information.”
Council President Jerry Narsh then made a motion to postpone the item dealing with the tower’s bidding until a future meeting. Narsh said the purpose of postponing the item is to discuss maintenance costs, tear down costs and get public input.
“We’ll make an agenda item with all of the information [Village Manager Darwin] McClary can gather,” Narsh said.
McClary received a letter dated April 1, informing the village that Oakland County is currently installing a new public safety communications system, which no longer requires the use of the village’s site. For this reason, the county will terminate the construction license and lease agreement effective October 31. The county’s equipment “shall be removed” within 90 days of Oct. 31, 2024, according to the letter.
The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 28 at Village Hall, 21 E. Church St.

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