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Dear Jon: Salinas cashes in on cellular boom

By Jon K. Brent, Anchor, jonkbrent@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 05:08:55 PM CST
dear jon fire station 5

What's beneath the roof addition at Fire Station 5 is a boon to the City of Salinas

Cities are starved for revenue these days and the wave of the future is public-private partnerships. Nora messaged me on Facebook at “JonKBrent KIONKCOY” and asked, “Dear Jon, what's that new addition to Salinas Fire Station Five all about? Our neighborhood is curious.”

I spoke to Salinas Fire Chief, Edwin Rodriguez and it turns out what's under the new addition to Fire Station 5 at the intersection of Freedom Parkway and Rider Avenue is a cellular tower. With revenue scarce, technology booming and wireless companies seeking to improve coverage in certain areas these types of public-private partnerships are becoming the norm.

AT&T Wireless was seeking to improve cell coverage in northeast Salinas. So in partnership with the City of Salinas plans were drawn up to add the cell tower under a 10-foot addition to the fire house roof line at this location.

The chief says they went through all the proper permitting processes for approval and construction.

Like many other municipalities, this has become a moneymaker for Salinas. AT&T paid for all the construction costs and is leasing the space from the city for $3,000 a month.

What’s better? They’re hiding an unsightly tower from public view!

If you have a question for me, click the email link above. Or message me on Facebook at "JonKBrent KIONKCOY" or Twitter at "DearJonKBrent."