Superintendent Tim Hadfield presented an opportunity to the Camdenton R-III school board Monday to increase district revenue.

Superintendent Tim Hadfield presented an opportunity to the Camdenton R-III school board Monday to increase district revenue. 

Hadfield was approached earlier in the year by Camden County Assessor Marty McGuire about a cell tower study with the company Cell Tower Solutions. The study would see the company evaluate the property value surrounding the cell towers in the county and appraise their current value. The company is made up of members who used to install cell towers, and believes many of the current assessed value around cell sites in many counties are well below actual figures. 

These cell tower assessments are difficult for county evaluators to confirm due to a specific skill set needed to understand the property thoroughly. Hadfield says the county assessor suggested this idea firsthand. If Cell Tower Solutions does complete the survey and comes up with higher values for the property, the county would see an increase to local tax receipts. 

Hadfield says that tax receipts are an important aspect of funding the school district, which is why he wanted to address the board on the matter. During Monday’s meeting, board members discussed at length the need and cost of taking part in the assessment. 

In order to have the county take part in the study, entities within the county must make an initial payment. Hadfield says the company quoted the county a maximum cost of $89,000 to take part. However, the company says the tax receipt increases seen from the study would pay back the initial investment in an average of just two years. The revenue stream would be continuous after initial payments are made back, which Hadfield sees as a potentially large increase in funds from a seemingly small amount of work put in. 

A county fly-over by Cell Tower Solutions showed that the area currently houses 45 cell towers, four broadcast towers, two utility towers and two corporate towers, all of which would be evaluated in the study. 

The board moved Monday to table any actions on the issue until later in the month. Hadfield says they want to reach out to other county entities and see if they might be able to help with costs. This increased evaluation would have effect countywide, no matter the party who makes the opening payment. He says that they may look toward the county commission and even other schools in the area to share costs. 

“I think the board just needs more info on the subject,” Hadfield said. “We’ve tabled actions for now and will surely follow up later.”