Dewey Town Commissioners met with their new consultant to discuss their options going forward with new wireless tower installations.
5G poles in Dewey Beach faced community outcry over the past few weeks. Last Monday, Dewey Beach residents protested the installation of wireless poles on the dunes, saying they obstruct views and lower property values.
The town commissioners heard from the town's new consultant on the issue Friday.
CTC Net engineer Ron Evans says locating new wireless poles is all a matter of finding the right balance.
“I spoke with them, they’re very open to working with the town of Dewey Beach and finding a common medium in order to site their facilities here,” Evans said.
The commissioners heard a variety of recommendations, including pushing wireless providers to co-locate on the same tower, using technology that can be easily concealed, like some towers in Rehoboth Beach, and changing the fee structure to incentivise those actions.
Evans notes while new poles may need to be taller - up to 50 feet high, they’ll sit farther back and can accommodate up to three wireless providers.
Mayor Dale Cooke says figuring out viable locations is important, since the new 5G technology is such short range.
“What bothers me is that I personally thought that we’d move ‘em back to the highway,” Cooke said. “It doesn’t look like we can get that and get the proper line of sight reception that we thought we could get from the highway.”
The city is also considering changing its fee structure to encourage better installation practices, and creating a new online application portal to facilitate easier communication with wireless providers.