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City preparing cell tower location bylaw

Denise Reimer, Deputy Mayor - Observer file photo
Denise Reimer, Deputy Mayor
— image credit: Observer file photo

A petition campaign to have the city develop a policy guiding cell tower placement was successful even before it reached municipal council.

Approximately 800 signatures were included on a petition submitted to council by Dianne Rempel and Wendy Collins.

A letter from Rempel and Collins included with the petition explains the intent was to encourage council to bring in guidelines on the placement and appearance of cell phone towers, considered by the writers and petition signatories to be a health risk.

Coun. Alan Harrison said he appreciated the work done by Rempel and Collins, and noted staff is working to prepare such a policy.

In October, council asked staff to begin work on a policy after receiving letters of concern about a cell tower possibly going up in the Hillcrest area near the school and residences.

Coun. Marg Kentel added at that time that Rogers had yet to respond to public complaints or inquiries from the city.

Responding to the petition, Coun. Denise Reimer, acting as deputy mayor, reiterated Harrison’s comments, explaining a cell tower policy is currently being drafted by city corporate officer Corey Paiement.

“He’s working at that and hoping the draft will be available for council’s information by the middle of February,” said Reimer. “After that, it will go out for public submissions as well as councils’ statements… The policy after that will come back to council. I think we’re heading in the right direction with regard to that.”

Coun. Ken Jamieson emphasized the importance of supporting such community initiatives in one way or another.

“We may not agree with what the people are saying, but if you have 800 people saying something in the community, it means something, and we sometimes have to be that conduit to the other agencies to let them know that we have people in our community who are concerned,” said Jamieson.

 

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