Cell leases make Wis. towns money but some unhappy

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File photo. (WLUK)

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) – The Fox Cities are making easy money by leasing space for cellphone antennas on land and water towers, although some residents are upset that communities have little say about where the antennas are being set up.

A Post-Crescent Media (http://post.cr/1gRi8Ty ) survey of 10 communities found that lease fees added up to nearly $1.2 million. That money is being used to offset property taxes and utility fees.

Appleton collected more than $250,000 through 14 leases. The Town of Menasha brought in $246,000 and Neenah made $176,000.

The antenna sitings provide a steady stream of money. Carriers are willing to pay the fees rather than build their own towers.

But some communities aren’t happy. A state law restricts their ability to reject cellphone towers, which some say gives carriers too much power.

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