A controversial deal with the Port of South Whidbey and AT&T for a cell tower may soon be defunct.
Port commissioners this week agreed to issue the mobile phone company a notice of default on the contract due to years of inaction.
“We’re in a position now that we don’t feel they are going to follow through with this,” said Commissioner Curt Gordon, in a telephone interview with The Record on Friday.
The contract was to lease port property on the ridge above Sandy Hook to AT&T for construction of a cell tower. The deal, which was signed several years ago, peeved residents who didn’t like the idea of tower near their homes and an area trail.
According to Gordon, the agreement required that the company begin construction within five years, but despite working with three subcontractors, it has yet to make any progress securing county permits. The port’s letter gives the cell company 60 days to make some headway, Gordon said.
While he maintained improved cell coverage is something the port desires, it just didn’t make sense to tie up property that won’t be utilized.
“There’s no sense keeping a lease with people aren’t going to do anything,” he said.