Call Now to Oppose Capping Local Charges on Wireless Poles

February 2, 2018

HB 1427 (Kilgore) and SB 823 (McDougle) establish a limit on what localities may charge for the use of publicly owned rights-of-way by the wireless industry for the placement of poles and towers.

The bills set statutory limits on what may be charged for wireless structures and equipment on both VDOT and locality-owned rights-of-way. Specifically, poles or towers up to 50 feet in height may only be charged an annual fee of $1,000, towers 50 -120 feet $3,000, and towers greater than 120 feet $5,000. While the bill does not affect any existing contracts between a wireless company and a locality, it makes clear that upon expiration of the terms of the agreement, the statutory limits proposed become effective.

HB 1427 unanimously reported out of the House Commerce and Labor Committee with the support of VDOT speaking on behalf of the Northam administration. SB 823 will be heard in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday, February 5.

ACTION REQUIRED – Contact your legislators now to oppose this giveaway of publicly-owned property to a private entity.

KEY POINTS

  • Roads and highways are publicly-owned assets whose value has been enhanced through significant investments in construction and maintenance.
  • Local elected bodies are empowered to negotiate, through contract, with private entities for the use of publicly-owned land.
  • The state should not usurp local authority in the management of locality-owned assets.

KEY CONTACTS

House of Delegates | Senate Commerce and Labor Committee

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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