said by w1spfanatic:
I don't want to run into any red tape from the feds for dismantling equipment etc etc.
How long has the WISP been shut down? See if you can get a copy of the lease from the water tower owner. Many leases give xx number of days to remove equipment from the site before it is considered abandoned and legal property of the landlord to dispose of. RUS funded or not, I don't believe any tower owner has to keep the equipment in tact on their structure if these things are clearly laid out in the lease.
If the lease has expired or was defaulted on, and the timeframe for removing equipment has passed, the equipment may be free and clear of any "owner" and the landlord may be willing to give it to you for free simply to be able to be able to rent out the space again. If the owner is the city, they might see it as a valuable opportunity to add some new competition to replace the old WISP.
Worth looking into anyway. After all, WE the taxpayers paid for it, might as well use it if you can.