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Bell cell tower location ridiculous

It was with dismay that I learned this week that Bell Mobility is quietly planning to erect a 30 meter telecommunications tower at the corner of King and Elizabeth Streets in the heart of historic downtown Picton.

Bell Mobility knows the public concerns and this is wasn’t their first location of choice. They attempted to place communications equipment on the fly tower behind the Regent Theatre, who had accepted their proposal, yet the Heritage Advisory Committee urged Municipal Council to nix the idea. As a cynical response, Bell Mobility is now proposing to erect a giant stand alone tower using a tiny piece of property that they own in downtown Picton that has no heritage designation.

The location is ludicrous. There are really only a half dozen or so blocks remaining of historic downtown Picton. A tower of this magnitude will loom over the entire neighbourhood, and this at a time when attracting tourist dollars is a major plank of our economic development strategy. Kiss goodbye dreams of a vibrant Benson Park and children’s play area. We will all pay the price for the continued erosion of our historic downtown due to poor corporate citizenship and lack of foresight by municipal council.

Telecommunications towers are usually placed in fields or in non-residential areas. In Wellington, there is one at the dump. There are reasons for this: no one chooses to hang out under 30 meter industrial towers. There are significant perceived health effects, they are an eyesore, they lower the value of homes and as such they impact everyone in their vicinity. Council was concerned about heritage when Bell Mobility proposed to place their equipment on the fly tower of the Regent Theatre (a proposal which would have brought much needed income to the Regent) but now Council appears silent on the issue when Bell Mobility suggests they have no other option but to locate a 30 meter stand alone tower at the corner of King and Elizabeth Streets.

Where are our municipal council and its historical advisory committee now? Who is left to stick up for Picton? Industrial towers do not belong in our downtown. Why are other sites not being considered? Near the Eastlink or Explornet towers on Macauley Mountain, or vacant lots in the Industrial Park, are more appropriate sites to consider.

Bell Mobility is required to host a “public consultation” and is holding it at the Regent Theatre on December 12th from 6 to 8pm.

Catherine Lyon

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. ChrisW says:

    The point is — the Regent could have certainly done with the $10,000 / year (in perpetuity)but the Heritage Advisory killed it. Now Bell is saying “Fine, how’s THIS for a tower, then?”

  2. Ken Globe says:

    There are plenty of buildings in downtown Picton where cell reception is spotty, or nonexistent. I don’t think King and Elizabeth streets is a great place, they fly tower at the Regent or the Edward building are the better options, both are tall enough to give a clear signal to a large area. And if you’re worried about health effects, you get more radiation from the microwave in your kitchen.

  3. Doris Lane says:

    Why do we need a bell tower in Picton. I use Bell Mobility and I get reception in Picton, It is SM that there is no reception

  4. lou lou says:

    dumb. I do want a bell mob tower. as our cell phone connections are not good. , but not in the middle of a res area? .thats just plain ludicrous. as others have stated, Towers are on the outskirts, fields. industrial areas. Not on the side of a street in a small town area with houses and downtown…and have blinking lights at night too? oh boy. is this a joke??

  5. ChrisW says:

    Heritage Advisory Committee: give your heads a shake, eat crow, and accept Bell’s original proposal, for Heaven’s sake. Sheesh.

  6. argyle says:

    If this tower is allowed to be erected on the proposed site then the councillors for Picton, the Mayor and remainder of council should all resign.Can they not get anything right!!!!! Where is the common sense?

  7. D. Rankin says:

    I am very disappointed that our Municipal Government would stand by and let something like this happen to a beautiful residential neighbourhood. Surely there are other suitable areas for this tower to reside.
    I must agree with CL’s letter and wonder how this can be happening!

  8. David A. says:

    Look up the term Azimuth, this may speak to the idea of where to locate a tower. I hear occasional complaints about Bell connectivity around the area and this may relieve that issue. Tourists enjoy having the convenience of cell phone reception and commerce keeps the town alive. Maybe King St isn’t ideal though. Hmmmm, Heritage is part of the question but not always the single answer.

  9. Theresa Durning says:

    I’m sorry we missed the meeting on Thursday evening. However, I agree with everything Ms. Lyon has stated in her article. Indeed, the Heritage Advisory Committee seems to be overly concerned with individual, designated structures but, not too concerned with the overall “feel” of the historic downtown of the old Town of Picton.

    We would be fools to believe Bell Mobility is limited in their choices of tower location. I find it hard to believe our Municipal Council would even entertain the idea of locating a 30 metre communications tower in the downtown area and so close to a public park with a playground. What the H E double receiver dishes are they thinking – both Bell Mobility and Municipal Council.

    What is wrong with locating this behemoth in the Industrial Park on one of the properties currently controlled by the Municipality. Goodness knows the powers-that-be moan and groan enough about expenditures…..locating in The Industrial Park would generate land lease income for the bottom line.

    Come on kids. Put on your thinking caps and find a decent place for the tower. You know you can do it. Don’t make us say out loud what we’re all thinking right now.

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