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THE KANSAS LIFELINE

July 2018

by Gary Hanson, JD

Stumbo Hanson, LLP, Topeka, Kansas

any water systems in Kansas have permitted
antennas to be installed on their elevated
storage tanks. These include commercial

cellular phone antennas, law enforcement/emergency
preparedness antennas and commercial wireless
internet antennas. Depending on location, these
arrangements can produce a significant source of
income for water systems without much
inconvenience or expense.

Why are antennas owners willing to pay to locate

on water storage tanks? Their height and location
may not be ideal, but they are already in place.
Constructing a new purpose-built communications

tower is very expensive. Perhaps more importantly,
obtaining of permits to build a new
communications tower may be difficult and time
consuming. In some cases, those permits may be
nearly impossible to obtain.

The decision whether to allow attachment of one

or more antennas on a water system’s storage tank
involves several considerations, some of which are
legal in nature, some of which are not. Some of the
more important issues are discussed below.

1. WRITTEN AGREEMENT: A couple of rules can be
applied to all of these situations. First, never allow
anyone to attach a commercial antenna to a water
storage tank without a written agreement. Second,
never sign an agreement without the review and
approval of your attorney.

An agreement will usually be in the form of a

lease. Major antenna owners, such as the national
cellular telephone carriers, have standard form
leases that will be proposed. These are typically
well-written and are reasonably fair lease
agreements from which to start your negotiations.
Smaller companies, such as local wireless
companies, may not have a standard form lease, or
one that is not as well developed as those from the
major cell companies.

Legally

Relevant

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Leasing of Water
Storage Tanks for
Commercial 
Antennas

First, never allow anyone to

attach a commercial antenna to a

water storage tank without a

written agreement.