Salmon Arm is adding a communications tower to its real estate stock.
In September 2020, the city was contacted by Corus Entertainment Inc. to say the company was in the process of decommissioning several Corus/Global TV rebroadcast sites including the operation at Kault Hill near Salmon Arm.
The tower sits on Crown land just north of city limits, within Electoral Area C.
The city has a lease at $227 per month with Omega Communications, acting on behalf of Corus, to use the tower for its primary radio communications hub.
“This tower is critical to the operation of the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, specifically the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems which monitor and control our operations remotely,” Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, reported.
He said that in discussions with city staff, Corus agreed not to decommission the tower and offered to transfer ownership of the tower to the city for $1, complete with a bill of sale.
Corus would provide the city with an environmental sign-off saying the site is free of contamination, while the city would take over the Crown land lease for the property where the tower sits. Although there will be no lease cost, the city must pay a one-time application fee of $300.
Niewenhuizen said staff think it would be in the best interests of the city to buy the tower, and the savings in the monthly lease fee would offset the expense of owning the structure.
Council members agreed, voting unanimously to go ahead with the $1 transfer of ownership.