New cell tower approved for western Flagler

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The Flagler County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously at its regular Monday meeting to approve construction of a telecommunications tower in western Flagler County, on County Road 95, near County Road 2006 and County Road 305.

The 260-foot Verizon Wireless tower would be painted in earth tones to match the scenery behind it, and it could accommodate three carriers in addition to Verizon.

Commissioner Barbara Revels asked the county to include a provision that would permit the county to place emergency services communications equipment on the tower at no charge.

“We need the help in that part of the county for emergency services and emergency communications,” she said, especially for firefighters fighting wildfires.

The county could also use the equipment for a mobile hot spot at the Bull Creek campground, using it to add a camera and stream video. The county already has live-streaming video cameras along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The commission approved a 150-foot communications tower on County Road 200 in January, with a similar provision for county emergency communications equipment. That tower's anchor tenant would be AT&T.

Verizon officials agreed to the request on the condition that the county’s equipment wouldn’t endanger the tower’s integrity or force out other telecommunications providers that bought space on it.

The Verizon tower still requires approval by the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Federal Aviation Administration.

In other business Monday, the commission approved a conservation easement for gopher tortoises in an area near the headwaters of Bulow Creek as part of the meeting’s consent agenda, which passed unanimously.

County Administrator Craig Coffey told commissioners work is proceeding on the restaurant at Bull Creek Campground — owned by the county, but now managed by the owners of Woody’s Bar-B-Q — with footers now installed for expanded deck space.

The campground, located on Dead Lake at the west end of County Road 2006, also has a new canoe and kayak launch.

The commission also proclaimed the month of March 2014 as “Flagler Reads Together in Flagler County” month.


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