On Tuesday, July 28, Stephen Romine of LeClair Ryan, the attorney for HRSD, spoke to Council about a possible communication tower in Town.

WEST POINT – Town Council delayed acting on a proposed communication tower last week so members could learn more about the project.

"We have a lot of homework to do," said Mayor Jim Hudson at the July 28 Council meeting.

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) is applying for a Special Use Permit (SUP) for a 195-foot monopole communication tower in the West Point Industrial Park, currently zoned M-1 (Light Heavy Industrial).

According to Stephen Romine of LeClair Ryan, the attorney for HRSD, the 2.156-acre property is "currently used as an administrative and working staging center for the HRSD Peninsula operations."

Romine said that HRSD is proposing that the tower use an antenna to transmit and receive data from the pump stations and other facilities in the Middle Peninsula.

"The data will be part of the HRSD Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)," he said.

The Cyber Security Dictionary defines SCADA as a remote control system that uses coded signals over several communication channels.

The Middle Peninsula Operations Center reported in April that the tower should not interfere with the public safety communication system in King William County.

As a part of the SUP, HRSD has agreed to allow the Town to co-locate, or allow tower space for local departments and emergency communication services.

Just how much space the Town will receive and if it'll hold up to future Town growth is unknown.

"We will allow a reasonable capacity," Romine said. "We are working on good faith that we will come to an agreement with [Town Manager] John Edwards."

"The tower meets the Town's guidelines, and has been recommended for approval by your Planning Commission on June 4. The Planning Department is recommending approval as well," he added.

"I respectfully request that you approve our Special Use Permit application."

Council will review the SUP application again at its August meeting.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.