Broward County and Hollywood (FL) Leave Site Decision to Consulting Firm

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Broward County, Florida is developing a county‐wide project to implement a new public safety APCO Project 25 (P25) radio system. This P25 project will replace the existing aging Motorola SmartZone trunked radio system. The new P25 system will consist of 14 radio sites, and has been awarded to Motorola Solutions, Inc.  

In July, Monetti & Associates Consulting and Engineering (M&A) was hired by the county and the City of Hollywood to provide “analysis and report of two potential radio sites being considered for deployment as part of the P25 system”. The two choices were: erecting a 325-foot tower on county-owned park space or do a rooftop mount on a downtown highrise in Hollywood. The objective of the consulting firm was to make a final recommendation on which site to deploy, according to a letter M&A submitted to the county.

M&A began by interviewing 29 officials from both sectors and receiving extensive documentation to provide background information on the specifics of both sites to begin to weigh the pros and cons of each from various perspectives.

“It is understood there are valid reasons for preference of either site; information on these reasons has been provided by City and County representatives, and their supporting contractors and consultants,” the letter said. M&A stated the County team favored a site on West Lake Park (WLP) which would consist of a standing 300’ tower, while the City team preferred the CIRC Hotel & Apartment Building (CIRC) for deployment, which is located about 0.6 miles further inland. 

The city concerns center on the ability for the WLP site to survive Category 5 hurricanes while the county concerns with CIRC are centered on the complexity of the construction at the CIRC facility, and access for repairs and general maintenance post‐deployment. M&A concluded the CIRC site would be more expensive to construct and to maintain over the long term and would incur an ongoing monthly lease cost. And although M&A  noted more citizen opposition to the WLP site, there would be significantly greater disruptions to citizens in and around CIRC.

Final conclusions were:

  • The park site tower would be easier to construct, give better access to the antenna and could be completed faster.
  • Strong opposition to the CIRC location “should be expected” once it becomes clear about 400 city residents could be affected by construction at the CIRC and may have to be evacuated during certain construction periods.

County officials said they will immediately begin taking measures to construct the tower, at West Lake Park, reported Government Technology. It will be the 16th and final tower in the county’s $80 million build-out of a new public safety radio system, according to GT. 

September 13, 2019

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