Palm Coast government on Thursday issued an update on the three cell towers in the works this year, the first new towers to be added to the city’s wanting network in nearly a decade. Two of the three are up. None are operational just yet. Construction began in January.
The first new tower that went up is near Water Treatment Plant 1 behind Palm Coast Parkway, by Heroes Park. Though it’s up, the cellular antennas have not yet been mounted to the mono pole. As work continues, AT&T Wireless will be the first to have service on this tower with other carriers negotiating to be included. The tower’s new carrier should help alleviate what has been dismal cell reception along the Parkway.
A second mono pole tower just went up about three weeks ago, on June 7, at Farmsworth Drive and Palm Harbor Parkway, near fire station 24. The contractor is currently scheduled to have the cellular antenna assembly up by the end of the month. As work continues, AT&T will have its antenna on this tower while other carriers are also looking to bring their carrier services to this location.
A third tower is located near the Palm Coast Tennis Center. This tower will replace an existing two-carrier tower at the property. The current tower is 100 feet, but the new tower is going to be the tallest of the three, at 160 feet. With the extra height, this tower will have a special antenna to perform automatic reads for the new smart water meters.
There is a partial hold on this tower at the moment so that the contractor can create necessary drawings to revise the permit and provide red and blue lights for the tower due to its proximity to the county airport. The lights must be visible day or night. Despite the hold, other work is continuing at ground level. This tower, once up, will have three cellular carriers–AT&T, Verizon and T Mobile–in addition to the city’s radio antenna for automatic water meter reading. The automatic reading is part of the city’s “Smart City” initiative, and will help reduce the need for personnel to read water meters.
The three towers each cost between $300,000 and $400,000. The city is not paying for any of the towers. Their installation is the result of the city council’s decision to relax regulatory rules about tower heights and emplacement, and of a contract with Diamond Communications, a private company that’s building the towers at its own expense. In exchange, Diamond will keep 60 percent of the revenue generated by the carrier leases on the new towers, with 40 percent of the revenue going to the city. Palm Coast has four towers of its own. It will keep all revenue from leases on those towers.
Palm Coast hasn’t had a new cell tower since 2010.