Carmelites versus cell company

Carmelites versus cell company

A community of Carmelites monks is suing the one of the largest cell phone tower companies, American Tower, for reneging on an agreement to sell the monks some property. The monks had wanted to buy 99 acres in central Massachusetts to build its new monastery and American Tower had agreed to sell it. But on the day of the closing, American Tower asked for a delay in the signing and then tried to back out of the deal because the site had been found to be the ideal location in Massachusetts for a wind farm.

When the monks had found out of the alternative energy suitability, they made plans to use it to provide low-cost electricity to low-income households. American Tower saw dollar signs.

On the scheduled day of the closing, American Tower asked for a monthlong delay to review documents, according to an e-mail from a company attorney to a lawyer for the Teresians. On Nov. 22, according to Wyrzykowski, he received a call from American Tower vice president Ross W. Elder, who told him the company wanted to lease the land for 99 years rather than sell it due to its commercial potential.

That was unacceptable to the monks because ``monasteries are here for 1,000 years, not 100 years, so if I took that offer the future of my monastery would depend on leases and business people, ” Wyrzykowski said. ``I want to secure this land clear and free so the future leaders of this monastery do not have to deal with anything except praying for people and being the spiritual life center we’re called to be.”

Of course, now that the FAA has issued height restrictions that put the viability of wind power in doubt, maybe American Power will realize it was wrong from the beginning.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli