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Council approves wireless agreement

Following a brief public hearing Wednesday, Suffolk City Council unanimously approved a bid by Verizon Wireless to grant a non-exclusive license agreement to install, maintain and operate wireless facilities and communications infrastructure in the city for least 10 years.

Steve Romine, an attorney representing Verizon Wireless, said he appreciated city staff working him on the franchise agreement.

“It is non-exclusive, so it would be available to other providers as well,” Romine said.

Deputy City Manager Scott Mills, in presenting the staff report on the bid, said the initial term will be for 10 years, with an automatic renewal for three additional five-year terms, unless either the city or Verizon Wireless decides not to renew the bid.

Construction would take place on public streets and rights-of-way, as designated and approved by the city.

During its regular meeting, the council also voted unanimously to rename the Whaleyville Community Center at 132 Robertson St. to the Whaleyville Recreation Center.

“The name itself generates some confusion among the public,” said City Manager Patrick Roberts.

The city owns the Whaleyville facility as well as the East Suffolk Recreation Center. Both offer nearly identical amenities and programs, except one was named a community center, and the other a recreation center, according to the staff report.

The cost of the name change would be about $2,000, and would come out of the Parks and Recreation Department’s operating budget.

The council also agreed to cancel a previously scheduled July 3 meeting, and schedule a special work session for July 11 for a tour of area libraries, with the times and places to be announced.

In the most recent adopted Capital Improvements Program and Plan for fiscal years 2020 to 2029, the city has set aside $1.9 million in fiscal year 2020 for the design of a 45,305-square-foot, $21.1 million library to go on West Washington Street that would replace the existing Morgan Memorial Library, located across from City Hall. The current library’s footprint is 14,500 square feet.