The Richter Park Authority in Danbury will be looking for cell companies to bid on a communications tower on the 180-acre property. The Connecticut Siting Council will also have a say on where a tower can be located. After those steps have been taken, a public hearing will have to be held in Danbury about the proposal. The City Council will also have to vote on the tower.
The Authority is looking to put a cell tower near the golf course to improve service in case of emergency and also to generate revenue to fund items in the Master Plan.
Mayor Mark Boughton says the Richter Park Authority has done a number of things to bring in more revenue to keep the property active with recreational uses. But he says there are less golfers, fewer people have five hours during the day to take off from work to golf. Boughton says there aren't enough golf revenues to improve the park, and they don't want to raise fees because that would chase more people away leaving the Authority with less money.
The Master Plan calls for improving hiking trails and tennis facilities and to reconfigure the golf course to make room for a driving range.
Boughton says the Richter house needs a new roof and other maintenance work. The City has helped with weather-tightening on the house, but more work is needed. He says there are so many other needs in the budget, including a big high school proposal coming up. He did not elaborate on what that might be.
In making the case for approval, Boughton noted that the Richter Park Authority has done the responsible thing and tried several ways to generate revenue for upkeep instead of asking city taxpayers for funding. He noted that they no longer give unlimited passes to seniors for golf and offer afternoon specials to bring in out of town revenue.