Broward County commissioners agree to bring in independent expert over tower issue

Commissioner Michael Udine proposes third possible site for tower

By Sanela Sabovic - Reporter

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Nearly one year later, the city of Hollywood and Broward County commissioners are still trying to decide where to put a 911 emergency communications tower. 

On Tuesday, commissioners agreed they would let a third party expert weigh in.

The city of Hollywood and Broward County have been at odds when it comes to where to install the tower.

Hollywood commissioners want an antenna placed on top of the Circ hotel, while the county wants a 32-story tower constructed in West Lake Park. 

Residents who live nearby have a problem with that and say not only would it ruin the landscape, but it would also pose health problems.

"I'm concerned about the RF radiation from the tower," Hollywood resident Anne Melby said. 

Almost all Broward County commissioners on Tuesday approved an inter-local agreement to bring in a third party expert to help pick the best site. 

Michael Udine was the only commissioner who didn't approve.

"Why would we delegate all this power away, all this expertise away, to an independent expert who is just going to come out of the blue and now will be responsible for the backbone of the entire public safety apparatus from the county? I don't think that's a smart way to do it," he said.  

Udine has a third option in mind and selected the wastewater treatment plant in Hollywood.

Commissioners approved to consider the site Tuesday and Udine said it's a logical alternative.

"If you say you don't want it in the park, what about this wastewater plant, where there is already a tower there? You are taking one down and putting another one up. It just seems obvious," he said. 

There are already some objections to that site due to the plant’s liquid oxygen tanks.

"Living nearby, it does concern me that there could be a potential oxygen explosion," Hollywood resident Lisa Stingone said.  

The inter-local agreement still needs to be approved by the city of Hollywood before the third party expert can weigh in and assess which location is best for the tower.

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