A small piece of the regional district could see a new connection.
Two new cellular service towers are being proposed to be built near the southern end of the Slocan Valley, covering the un-serviced areas of Pass Creek and Crescent Valley.
The $2-million project by Rogers Communications is expected to expand cellular service and coverage, and enhance safety for residents and add in potential for economic development in the Pass Creek Valley area, noted RDCK Area I director Andy Davidoff in a press release.
“These towers are imperative to improving public safety and connecting our region to the rest of the province and country,” he said.
“All of our emergency service providers have been requesting cell service in Pass Creek as a safety measure for many years to avoid situations where fire and police departments or residents are unable to communicate because of a lack of cell service during an emergency.”
Area H director Walter Popoff, along with the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation, said the announcement was a long time coming for the region and the need was highlighted by several past events.
“After the Lemon Creek jet fuel spill in 2013 I realized how important it is to the safety of Area H residents to have cell service in the Slocan Valley and I have been working towards that end over these last few years,” he said in a press release.
The funding commitment from Rogers will cover 100 per cent of the cost of construction and equipment. That financial commitment will allow the regional district to complete energy upgrades and possibly a “childcare service at the Pass Creek Community Hall,” said Davidoff.
The regulatory process to obtain approval for the towers now begins, “including a collaborative process to determine optimal sites to ensure the largest amount of coverage for the area with the least amount of impact to the community.”
Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily