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Target date for new Shores cell tower slips to Labor Day


The Easter target date for the highly anticipated Indian River Shores cell tower has come and gone, and seeing it rise next to the Town Hall by the Fourth of July is a fading dream as well.  But hopefully, by Labor Day, the Monopine stealth tree-tower will finally be finished.

Town Manager Robbie Stabe said the Town Council has done everything it is required to do, the building department is ready to issue a construction permit, and a general contractor has been hired to perform the construction work.

The holdup now is in the final design of the monopine stealth tower.  The builder, Tampa-based E.M. Enterprises, needs more detail to do the job to carrier specifications.

“DataPath is working with a major carrier on their leasing documents and their actual site layout and tower antenna configuration on the monopine,” Town Manager Robbie Stabe said. “These stealth towers require a lot more attention to detail to ensure maximum stealth and maximum signal.”

Those leasing documents are critical to the start date.  “An executed lease is required to commence the actual construction of the tower. Once this has been accomplished, construction permits will be applied for,” Stabe said.

A second carrier has applied to lease space on the tower and Datapath is brokering that deal. Town officials have said they want at least Verizon and AT&T on the tower for it to serve the maximum number of users, with the goal being a total of five carriers sharing the 135-foot pole that will be sheathed with faux pine boughs to look like a massive tree.

The many regulatory hurdles holding up the tower have been surmounted. “All Federal permits have been approved,” Stabe said. “The timeline should be that once the permits are obtained and construction starts, it will take no more than nine weeks to construct the tower.”

The first step will be leveling the ground and pouring a 40-foot by 40-foot slab, several feet thick for the base of the tower.

Then the tower and antennae equipment will go up, along with the fake pine branches that will help camouflage the tower from neighbors in Bermuda Bay, Johns Island and The Estuary.

Once the tower is complete, the Town will begin receiving lease payments from cellular service providers with equipment on the tower.