Washington's Board of Selectmen approved a 30-year lease Jan. 17 with Homeland Towers for a 130-foot cellphone tower.

The tower is proposed to be at 10 Blackville Road (Route 109) at the site of the town highway garage, near the back of the property.

The approval is subject to a town meeting vote and review by the Planning Commission, which will hear First Selectman Mark Lyon Feb. 5. A balloon float from the site is scheduled Saturday, Jan. 26 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inclement weather date would be Feb. 2.

An informational meeting for the public will be offered Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at Bryan Memorial Town Hall, in the main floor meeting room.

Homeland Towers has agreed to pay the town $2,000 a month for the right to construct the tower. That monthly payment would include the first carrier to utilitze the town. The town would receive 20 percent of the fee for each future carrier on the tower, Mr. Lyon said.

The initial lease would be for 10 years, with four possible five-year extensions.

"Homeland was willing to work within the terms and conditions that the town had negotiated with previous potential carriers," Mr. Lyon said. "This agreement still represents 18 months of negotiations. Homeland feels this will be a viable business deal for them."

The tower would provide cell service for Washington Depot and should extend service along Route 109 toward New Milford, connecting with other existing carriers, Mr. Lyon said.

-- Susan Tuz