(BIVN) – Verizon Wireless is proposing to build another telecommunications tower, this time to serve lower Puna.
An application for a Use Permit to allow the construction of the non-manned telecommunication facility is before the Windward Planning Commission. The tower will consist of a 155-foot tall monopine pole and auxiliary equipment within a 900-square foot portion of a 3-acre parcel of ag land, located on the mauka side of Highway 130 about 1.2 miles south of Black Sand Beach subdivision.
“This is our largest coverage objective in Hawaiʻi,” said Mike Beason, a consultant for Verizon Wireless. “This is very, very important site to Verizon and trying to get coverage down to the area. Verizon feels that one of its major roles is the ability for E911 emergency services on the public side, not just on the private side, as being very important.”
“This area was initially requested to be covered by civil defense because of the overlook and the people that were down in that area,” Beason said, adding that the company has been working on this project since 2008.
The commissioners and the community agreed that the service is needed in the area, where it is imperative to have reliable communication due to isolation and volcanic threats. The tower would serve residents of Sea View Estates and Black Sands Subdivision.
But there were some concerns about the placement of the tower. Neighbors told the commission they don’t want the facility right next to their home, while commissioners were concerned that the 155-foot tall monopine pole was going to be too close to Highway 130.
The matter was continued to the next commission meeting in order to allow Verizon more time to review the alternatives for placing the pole on the property.