Emergency Radio System Delayed By Dissention Among Commissioners

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The antiquated, unreliable emergency communications system in Broward County needs an update, but commissioners in Broward and Hollywood can’t agree on next steps, reported the Sun Sentinel.

Broward commissioners are proposing a state-of-the-art, 325-foot tall replacement tower for West Lake Park, but Hollywood commissioners oppose this idea, citing it will ruin aesthetics, negatively impact property values plus be more prone to damage from hurricanes and tidal surges. Hollywood officials recommend placing antennas on top of a downtown Circ apartment high-rise, which Broward officials say will cost more, take longer to install and provide sub-par reception.

On Thursday, commissioners met during a three-hour meeting to discuss the proposed projects. Broward Commissioner Michael Udine noted, “I do not want to let the rest of Broward County have to wait for this radio system while we hash this out.”

Udine’s district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, where 17 students and staff were killed and 17 injured in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting. He wants to ensure the 1.5 million residents of the county have a radio system that functions properly, according to the Sentinel.

Since commissioners did not reach a resolution, the state requires the matter to go to mediation, which can take at least 28 days, reported the Sentinel. Additionally, both sides agreed to have a third party review the proposed sites to determine which one is a better fit for the radio system, tacking on another two months to the timeline.

“I like where we’re going, but I have some concerns based on past history that’s gotten us to this point,” Hollywood Commissioner Caryl Shuham said. “We had agreed months ago that these [two sites] were going to proceed in tandem and yet there was no effort to come up with any design or anything like that for the Circ on the county’s part.”

June 21, 2019

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