P25 Communication System
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.
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 will 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
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 effort to work with Broward County regarding the second of two communication towers to be placed within the City of Hollywood, the City Commission voted to approve an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) on Wednesday, June 20, 2019. The ILA is a complex agreement that, among other things, empowered a third party expert to take an impartial look at the West Lake Park and CIRC Hotel and Residences to determine which location was 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.
City staff reviewed the independent report prior to the Regular City Commission Meeting on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. At that meeting, representatives from Monetti & Associates presented their findings to the City Commission.
At the August 28, 2019 meeting, the City Commission did not take official action to terminate the ILA Agreement. As a result, Broward County moved forward with the installation of the second tower at the West Lake Park site. As part of that installation, Broward County is now in a negotiation with the City of Tamarac for a land deal that would allow them to move forward with the installation at West Lake Park. On Monday, September 9, 2019 the Hollywood City Commission held an Emergency Special Meeting to discuss this "land swap" deal. You can watch that meeting here.
The Broward County Commission met on Tuesday, September 10th to discuss the deal with the City of Tamarac (Item 53 on their Agenda). A motion to approve an Interlocal Agreement between Broward County and the City of Tamarac regarding Property Transfers and to authorize the Mayor and Clerk to execute was passed. They also authorized the County Administrator to take any necessary budgetary and administrative actions to effectuate the purchase of the "Aitken Property" in the Town of Davie by the City of Tamarac as contemplated in the Interlocal Agreement. They also passed a motion to approve an amendment to the contract for Sale and Purchase between Broward County and Julie Aitken, dated June 18, 2019 to correct the legal description of the Aitken Property; and authorize the Mayor and Clerk to execute. They also approved a motion to authorize the County Attorney to take appropriate legal action "to protect the County." This may or may not include filing a Writ of Prohibition to rescind the Site Plan approval, moving along with Chapter 164 proceedings, etc. At that meeting, the County Commission expressed a desire to work with the City of Hollywood and not litigate.
On September 11th the City of Tamarac considered an Interlocal Agreement with Broward County regarding “Acquisition and Exchange” of the Aitken Property. After a lengthy discussion the Commissioners decided on a 30 day moratorium so they could learn more about the deal and consider all their options.
On September 24th Broward County Commissioners considered a number of items regarding the P25 system, including paying rent to the City of Tamarac in the amount of $9,000 per month, extending the closing date for acquisition of the Aitken Property to March 2020, and allowing the Aitken property to be deeded to the County or any municipality. They also voted to approve removing the 16th tower location, identified by the County as the "East Hollywood site," from the County's new system. This is the West Lake Park location.
The recommendation by the Broward County Administrator to completely remove the second tower site seems to be based on a presumption that the existing 800MHz legacy system, purchased by the County in 2003, would continue to provide adequate coverage for first responders and residents in southeastern Broward County in conjunction with the new P25 system. Information from the County has indicated that the 800MHzsystem is antiquated, unreliable and susceptible to failure. Hollywood and the other cities impacted by this sudden change of course, have existing agreements with the County for the provision of these critical emergency public safety communication services. The City of Hollywood stands ready to provide all the support we can to ensure all of Broward County is covered by the new P25 system - as it should be. We urge the County to work cooperatively and transparently with the City in good faith to resolve this matter.
On October 7th the City of Tamarac approved an Interlocal Agreement with Broward County providing for the acceptance of the assignment of the Purchase Right for the "Aitken" Property from Broward County.
Feasibility Studies and Independent Evaluation
Broward County: Mission Critical Partners CIRC Feasibility Study
Independent Evaluation: Monetti & Associates Consulting, LLC
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.