P25 Communication System

West Lake Park Proposed Tower Site

Ariel view of West Lake Park with proposed communication tower location highlighted in blue

P25 Project Background

In October 2014, Broward County launched a Regional 911 emergency communications system (E911), as mandated by voters in 2002. With the regionalization, eight Public Safety Answering Points were consolidated into three, located in Coconut Creek, Pembroke Pines and Sunrise, staffed 24/7 with trained 911 dispatchers. The Broward County E911 Radio System serves 29 municipalities and the Broward Municipal Service District. Technical, communication and other safety concerns prompted the County Commission to approve major improvements to the countywide E911 radio communications system in 2015. The target date for launching the new P25 Radio System is planned for October 2019.  

typical communication tower

Tower Siting in Hollywood

The P25 Radio System calls for the construction of 16 additional transmit/receive radio tower sites in Broward County. Three of the locations are condo roof tops, of the 13 remaining sites, 325 foot high standing towers with antennas will be erected. Of those 13 towers, two are proposed to be placed within the City of Hollywood at the following locations:

  • Broward County West Lake Park, 1200 Sheridan Street
  • Broward County Water and Waste Water Plant, 4950 SW 40th Avenue

The City of Hollywood has approved the site plan and is working to finalize the building permits for the communication tower to be constructed at the Broward County Water and Waster Water Plant at 4950 SW 40th Avenue in Hollywood. In September, 2018 the City's Planning and Development Board recommended denial of the site plan for the West Lake Park tower. In November, 2018 the City Commission requested the County explore other options for the tower, including placing the communications system on a newly-constructed high-rise building in downtown Hollywood - the CIRC Hotel and Residences.      

Why are additional antennas needed?

  • Eliminate "dead spots" along the oceanfrount, high rise buildings and western parts of the City
  • Improve radio coverage gaps
  • Improve coverage for the countywide regional system
  • Provide overlapping coverage with surrounding sites
  • Improve performance in the event of a system interruption  

Interlocal Agreement with Broward County 

In an ongoing effort to work with Broward County regarding the second of two communication towers slated to be placed within the City of Hollywood, the City Commission voted to approve moving forward with the Interlocal Agreement (ILA) on Wednesday, June 20, 2019. The ILA is a complex agreement that, among other things, empowers a third party expert to take a fresh, impartial look at the West Lake Park and CIRC Hotel and Residences to determine which location is the recommended site for the second communication tower. The City and County agreed to retain third party consultant Monetti & Associates Consulting, LLC to investigate both sites. They were tasked with reporting their findings within 45 days of the signed agreement. On Friday, August 16, 2019 Monettil & Associates delivered their report to the City and County.


Next Steps

City staff are reviewing the independent report that assesses both West Lake Park and CIRC Hotel as the location for a second emergency radio communications site within the City of Hollywood. Throughout the tower siting process, the City’s goal has always been to place this equipment in the best possible location to provide for the security and safety of all Broward County residents

Additional Resources

City consultant G.M. Selby, Inc. performed an analysis of the West Lake Park and CIRC Hotel locations to determine coverage and shadowing. Below is a summary of their findings.

Analysis of West Lake Park and CIRC Hotel Locations

    CIRC Hotel West Lake Park
Coverage & Shadowing Minimal & can be mitigated with repeaters N/A
Timing P25 Installation can be achieved within project deadline TBD
Cost Same value as currently estimated for the West Lake Park site or less Current estimate of $700K - $1M does not appear to include additional environmental permitting costs, geotechnical costs, and required tower foundation work.
Location The CIRC location is 1.7 miles away from the ocean and has multiple access locations on all sides. Regardless of damage in the area, the technicians will be able to reach the CIRC site and bring materials to the site to perform recovery of the equipment, because the likelihood they will encounter storm surge is remote.     Single entrance boarded by retention pond only 2 foot above sea level. Site will be under water limiting access to the site. Especially after a storm where 4-6 foot storm surge will likely remain for 48 to 72 hours before receding. 
Redundancy, Recovery & Resiliency Equipment at CIRC location will be protected inside the building with the exception of the microwave and RF antennas. Storm surge is not an issue, multiple access points will be available and accessible. A tower crew is not required, tower technicians can be trained to perform the recovery on the roof, and spare materials for recovery can be stored on the roof eliminating the need to raise replacement antennas. Even if the power is out, the technicians can simply climb the stairs to the roof. A cell site on wheels can be brought to the site, placed inside the parking garage (affording it protection against weather, vandalism and theft) and placed nearby to the power supply.  Easy access to refueling will continue to be viable as fuel trucks will have access to the site.  After a storm, the site will likely require replacement of all the microwave antennas, P25 RF antennas and coax on the tower. Site cannot be recovered with a cell site on wheels  until after the storm surge recedes. Generator will only have 500 gallon tank, requiring frequent refueling. Refueling the generator via boat is unrealistic. A four man tower team will be required to recover the site. 

About the Southern Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Southern Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWWTP) is located in the City of Hollywood and is operated by a crew of highly-specialized City employees. The site treats and disposes of more than 39 million gallons of effluent each day. The SRWWTP serves Hollywood customers, as well as several adjacent cities through Large Users Agreements.

The City's current expansion plans for the site include the construction of additional deep injection wells; a new monitoring well; a new effluent pumping station; and infrastructure related to Ocean Outfall Rule compliance. Additionally, the City’s Septic to Sewer Expansion program is expected to bring the remaining 43% of the City's service area online in the coming years which will necessitate additional expansion. Going forward, future service expansion plans are also currently under consideration. Current plant infrastructure, as well as the expansion projects mentioned above all require an elaborate array of underground piping systems to function which complicates any above ground construction.

AT&T currently has a 165' high tower at the SRWWTP.  The County's proposed 325 foot tower would require a larger footprint with necessary foundation, deeper pilings and additional ancillary buildings. Even with the replacement of the current tower, expansion plans and the complex nature of the SRWWTP site makes it not a viable option for a new, large-scale tower.