New tower location chosen

Published 10:44 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Suffolk will build a new emergency communications tower with an associated equipment building on a site behind its Human Resources building on Market Street within the next month, the city has confirmed.

The new facilities, however, will not impede the use of Wellons Park as a ball field or obstruct access to the nearby Oaklawn Cemetery, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said.

In September, the city closed the ball field to create a temporary parking area for city vehicles, helping to alleviate the parking crunch created by construction on the new city hall building.

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Now, the city will construct the tower and an equipment building outside of the existing ball field area, Klink said, but there still will be room for the park to return to its original use.

“The location was selected due to its ideal location for providing emergency radio signal coverage for the downtown and central growth areas of the city,” Klink wrote in an email.

The city’s contract to replace the aging 911 radio system is with Motorola. Klink said Motorola has raised concerns about the proximity of trees to the proposed tower and building sites.

“The city is evaluating the recommendation and will take whatever action necessary to provide for the protection of our E-911 infrastructure,” Klink wrote, which could involve cutting down trees.

The cemetery can continue to be accessed via the Human Resources building’s parking lot during and after construction, Klink added.