Big Rapids City Council To Discuss Protective Measures Against ‘Right-Of-Way’ Scam

A different kind of scam…

A local city attorney says it could mean a big tower being built in a place where it should not be.

The City of Big Rapids is protecting itself from a public right-of-way-scam.

It’s targeting cities across the nation.

The Big Rapids City Attorney says two companies sent letters to the city, inquiring about building 120-foot towers in right-of-ways within the city limits.

The attorney says it is similar to a scam where private real estate companies make themselves look like public utilities with misleading permit applications.

The mayor says the city told them no, and now is looking for a way to amend the city building code to make a scam like this impossible.

"The public right of way is really not designed for private development so what the city attorney has recommended is that staff look at maybe an ordinance amendment that would allow us to deal with requests like these because we probably would entertain more of them,” says Mayor Mark Warba.          

The city attorney is in the process of drafting an amendment now for the city council to look at.