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Battle over Broward 911 tower will be settled on your ballot

Broward County and Hollywood will settle tower fight on the ballot
Broward County and Hollywood will settle tower fight on the ballot

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Broward County voters will see a resolution on their November ballot that would allow leaders to put up a much-needed 911 tower, if it passes.

It’s a battle that has been going on for more than two years. The problem is, the county can’t put non-park-related things in a park.

Broward wants to put a 325-foot communications tower in West Lake Park in Hollywood to improve regional communications — specifically 911 communications.

The city of Hollywood and residents who live nearby have been fighting it.

“We have been, I believe, jeopardizing the public safety of people in Broward County, and no one community or one area that has a county park in it should be able to do that,” said County Commissioner Nan Rich.

On Thursday, Broward commissioners decided to put the issue on the ballot. Though the ballot question won’t specifically mention this issue.

The question will read something like this: Should Broward County allow regional parks to be used for limited public safety purposes?

If a majority of voters say yes, that would allow the county to put the tower there.

“We’re talking about a couple hundred square feet of dirt,” said Broward Mayor Dale Holness. “That is not detrimental to anyone’s health.”

The city of Hollywood wants to put the communications equipment on top of a downtown building instead of in the park. Broward says that the park is the best spot for coverage.

The county will be working on the exact language to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.

If passed, the county would be able to use any regional parks for limited public safety purposes.

“It isn’t about Hollywood,” Rich said. “But because of the experience that we’ve had with Hollywood, I think it’s so important for us to pass this.”

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.