After a yearlong search, the Town of Sandwich has accepted a contract with a wireless telecommunications company to lease a portion of the 110-foot cell tower at the new public safety complex.
The Sandwich Board of Selectmen signed a 20-year lease for New Jersey-based Cellco Partnership, better known as Verizon Wireless, during its meeting Thursday, September 3.
Credit for securing the $24,000-per-year lease goes to Sandwich Police Department’s Deputy Chief Michael Nurse, who is retiring from the force this month after 30 years with the department.
“It was one of his last projects,” Assistant Town Manager Heather B. Harper said this week of the deputy chief. “It’s a nice project to leave to the town.”
The massive cell tower was built at the site of the new public safety complex at the intersection of Cotuit and Quaker Meetinghouse roads in 2018.
The town published requests for bids for up to three telecommunications leasees last year but received no responses. In July, the town reissued the request for proposals, and after hearing from Verizon, Deputy Chief Nurse negotiated a successful contract.
Ms. Harper said it was fitting that Deputy Chief Nurse, the police department’s most experienced technology expert, would secure the contract with Verizon.
Sandwich Police Chief Peter N. Wack has said Deputy Chief Nurse was responsible for overseeing the complex communication systems in the new police headquarters building adjacent to the cell tower.
“Everything in the new building works through the technology systems—systems that he designed. His knowledge is beyond belief,” Chief Wack has said.
Deputy Chief Nurse, who was the department’s first deputy chief, began his career as a patrolman in May 1987.
He rose through the ranks over the years and held several different positions. He served as a drug abuse resistance education (DARE) officer, an administrative officer, an administrative sergeant, an administrative lieutenant and an operations lieutenant.
The deputy chief, who served as assistant director of the junior and adult citizens police academies, also modernized technology in the old police headquarters building.
During his tenure he designed the computer-aided dispatch and records management systems, oversaw the installation of the laptop system in police cruisers and upgraded the internal server systems, Chief Wack has said.
The deputy chief could not be reached for comment.
The town is still seeking two more leasees for the tower, which can accommodate a total of three “federally licensed communications companies to install and operate wireless communications equipment,” according to the request for proposals issued this summer.