HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A new radio tower to improve the Broward County Sheriff’s Office's communications system could be delayed for months after the county commission agreed Tuesday to study how to place the equipment on a Hollywood high-rise rather than build the tower near a gated community.
Residents of West Lake Village opposed the plan to erect the 300-foot radio tower in Hollywood’s West Lake Park, which borders the neighborhood. Homeowners said the tower would be an eyesore and hurt property values. The Hollywood City Commission also opposed the plan.
The Broward County Commission sought to have the tower up and running by December to address communications system failures that hindered the Sheriff’s Office’s response to the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting and the Parkland school shooting.
However, the alternative plan to place the equipment on 11-story Circ hotel and apartments in the 1700 block of Polk Avenue requires more research and lease agreement with the property owner. The Circ is sturdy enough to hold the tower, and it’s far enough east in Hollywood to provide the needed coverage.
The owner of the Circ is open to the radio tower proposal.
The commission approved the feasibility study Tuesday, but members said the study should take no longer than 60 days. It will cost about $131,000. Several backup sites must also be identified within that timeline should the Circ deal fall through.
However, the tower could still be erected in West Lake Park because the county owns the park and the permitting and design process is in its advanced stages.