Plainwell discusses end for unused water tower

Daniel Pepper

Plainwell city officials refused to lower their price for renting space on a water tower for cell phone service providers and said the city needed to plan for demolishing the tower.
City council members voted Monday, Nov. 13, not to lower the per month leasing price of $1,210, as requested by a company that in turn rents the tower to ATT and to put into writing the ability for the city to opt out with six months notice.
City manager Erik Wilson said the company had told him Plainwell was above market rates.
“They wouldn’t provide a study showing that and just said there were a couple other towers they were renting cheaper,” Wilson said.
He offered the idea of dropping the price by $100, rather than to $900 as the company had asked.
“Would they walk over $100?” Wilson said. “I don’t know, but I doubt it.”
Council member Brad Keeler said he didn’t see a reason to drop the price and council members unanimously approved his motion.
“When they send my phone bill, they don’t negotiate with me,” Keeler said.
Wilson said he thought the bigger issue was that the water tower on Thomas Street hadn’t been used in years—it was replaced by the higher one in the Plainwell Industrial Park and wasn’t needed—and needed to come down.
Mayor Richard Brooks said, “Well, there are certainly some residents who’d appreciate a better view.”
Wilson said he didn’t have a current estimate on what it would take to demolish the tower but said the city needed to plan for it.
Contact Dan Pepper at or at (269) 673-5534.


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