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Is a cell phone tower in store for Cedar Key?

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By Kellie Parkin

A representative from Skyway Towers visited the Cedar Key Commission last week to propose the addition of a cell phone tower.

Scott Behuniak focused on several key reasons why the Commissioners should partner with Skyway Towers, including the obvious improvement to community wireless coverage, the enhancement to current municipal communications such as emergency responders, and the revenue generated for the City.

Cedar Key Fire Chief Robert Robinson supports the proposal if it will provide better communication. “Our radios are spotty,” he said. “Sometimes we go into a building and they won’t work at all.” Police Chief Virgil Sandlin agreed that better radio service would be beneficial.

Behuniak promised minimal community impact aside from the benefits to residents and visitors. The tower can be designed to include a light for area fishermen and pilots, and it can provide a bird nest platform. Trees can be strategically planted to offer a more aesthetically pleasing environment, he said. A new tower could bring the city an estimated $25,000 per year in partnership revenues.  

The commissioners agreed that a new cell phone tower could greatly benefit the community of islands and decided to proceed. Skyway Towers will develop a detailed proposal and revisit the commission at a future meeting. A request for proposal will also be sent out to other similar companies in order to review all options and to comply with the government entity bid process.