Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q. What is the purpose of this communications tower?
A. Over the last several years, residents' complaints have increased regarding Westlake's poor cell phone coverage. While traditional cellular antennae have been installed on the power transmission towers along the north side of SH 114, Westlake’s topography and buildings in the Town block the line of sight required for cell reception.
Adding a communications tower on our Fire/EMS Station property would help improve cell coverage in Westlake. The tower would also provide Town staff with the capacity for SCADA, emergency services communication, Wi-Fi, and other municipal uses.
2. Q. Where is the proposed site of the communications tower?
A. The communications tower would be located on the property of the Westlake Fire and EMS Station located at the intersection of Davis Boulevard and Dove Road.
3. Q. Who is paying for the cell tower?
A. Vertical Bridge would build, own, and maintain the tower at their costs.
4. Q. Who is Vertical Bridge?
A. Vertical Bridge is the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the United States. The company owns and operates more than 320,000 towers, rooftops, billboards, utility attachments, and other site locations, including the nation’s largest and tallest collection of broadcast tower sites. Vertical Bridge has a strong history of working with local, state, and federal government entities.
5. Q. What are the benefits of the cell tower for the Town of Westlake?
A. Vertical Bridge will pay the Town $12,000 per year for the first two carriers' and will pay an additional $300 per month for each carrier thereafter. The tower would also provide Town staff with the capacity for SCADA, emergency services communication, Wi-Fi, and other related uses.
6. Q. What will the proposed tower look like? How tall will it be?
A. The height of a cell tower is driven by the size of the area that needs to be covered. Radio signals travel by line-of-sight and therefore need to clear treetops or other structures to achieve maximum range. Tree canopies are typically 65 ft to 75 ft high. An elevation of 150 ft. will maximize the propagation of the signal, and achieve a wider coverage area and the number of service providers.
7. Q. Are cell sites safe for those living or working nearby?
A. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates systems such as cell phone towers. Exposure levels from cell phone towers must comply with the FCC's radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure guidelines, which were developed to protect the public from RF-related health risks. You can find more information about cell phone towers on the FCC Tower and Antenna Siting page.