DANBURY -- Cell phone towers on the grounds of city schools could provide welcome monthly income to supplement tight budgets, but officials said they're just beginning to consider the idea and will weigh safety as much as revenue.
Transcend Wireless has approached Danbury officials about putting wireless cell towers on the grounds of Danbury High, Pembroke Elementary and Broadview Middle schools, according to Board of Education member Joseph Scozzafava.
Scozzafava told the board at last week's meeting that the board's sites and facilities committee will investigate the idea, which could generate $1,500 a month in income at each site.
Superintendent Sal Pascarella said it was early in the research about the issue, and he didn't know if it would go any further.
"Initially, we are just talking. It's a revenue-generating project, but you have to balance that with safety,'' Pascarella said Monday. "We are looking at all different revenue-generating possibilities, and this is part of that larger discussion."
Pascarella said he knows cell towers are put on school properties in other parts of the country, but his understanding after preliminary research is that school buildings are not owned by the schools but by cities, so city officials have to approve the plans.
The Connecticut Siting Council, which must approve the location of cell towers in this state, reports the private Kent School in Kent has a cell tower on property it owns off its campus, and Western Connecticut State University has a cell transmitter in the woods on its westside campus.
Mayor Mark Boughton said he had not heard about Transcend's interest in the Danbury schools.
"We have nothing in writing, but we would look at the request. If there is a way to generate revenue and put revenue back into the schools, we would look at it,'' Boughton said Monday.
He said Danbury Hospital has cell transmitters, and he knows there are some on churches, including churches with attached schools.
"It's not an uncommon practice," Boughton said.
Contact Eileen FitzGerald