Council OKs cell towers to improve 'connectivity through Tiny'

·4 min read

Hold off on the confetti and the parade floats until early 2022, as two cell network towers to be installed in Wyebridge and Wyevale need to go through proper procedures and can’t be rushed.

A presentation at last week’s committee of the whole meeting to Tiny council provided details and mock photos for the two lattice tri-pole towers that would provide valuable 5G and LTE mobile and internet connectivity to desperate residents.

“I understand the people of Wyevale and Wyebridge are planning a parade for you?” asked Tiny councillor Tony Mintoff lightheartedly.

Adam Fulford, director of land services with Canacre Ltd., spoke on behalf of Bell Mobility, requesting letters of concurrence for the tower proposals after following the township’s telecommunication facility policy for consultation requirements.

The 60.8-metre tall Wyevale tower is expected to deliver mobile LTE network coverage and capacity as well as wireless internet for its coverage range. Throughout the consultation process with landowners and residents, three parties responded to consultations ranging from support of the tower, to potential health concerns, and finally aesthetics.

“After receiving public comments regarding those aesthetics,” said Fulford, “we adjusted the proposed location to come a little bit further southeast to allow for some fencing and some ornamental vegetation barrier to try to further obscure the view from that northern property.”

Following director of planning Shawn Persaud’s comments on shifting radio communications equipment from the existing tower on Concession 6 to the Wyevale fire station location, Coun. Mintoff asked to have Fulford confirm that the engineering for the transfer of equipment would be done within the original design of the tower so the township wouldn’t have to pay engineering costs at a future date.

Fulford replied that the proposed equipment in the initial design was part of the explicit agreement between Bell and the township.

“However, I would like to clarify that, if ten years down the road, there is additional equipment or changes to co-location or equipment on the tower, that the engineering studies and the cost associated with that on a standard arrangement, and on our arrangement, would be at the cost of the township,” Fulford added.

For Wyebridge, a 52.1-metre tall tower is proposed for wireless improvements through its mobile LTE network coverage, to be located behind the community centre as seen from the road entrance. Two parties responded, both requesting information on the service to be expected from the tower.

Coun. Gibb Wishart asked if the Wyebridge tower could be painted powder blue, stating “it’s amazing how they just disappear into the sky”, with deputy mayor Steffan Walma later ribbing that he’d like it painted fire engine red.

Fulford responded that due to a lack of response either positive or negative to the towers’ appearances, in addition to the maintenance costs of paint over time, that the towers would remain as is, without colour.

“I also wanted to say thanks for working with us and coming back with a suggestion for a higher tower for increased service area,” said Walma. “I think if we can have more of those conversations as we expand the network in the municipality, then we’re 100% on board with increasing connectivity throughout Tiny.”

Fulford took a moment to praise council and staff on the “remarkably collaborative effort” that resulted in a proposal for a marginally higher tower, resulting in more members of the community receiving the benefits of the services.

“In particular, I believe it was Coun. Mintoff who said ‘let’s not be too short-sighted, let’s look at connecting as many people as possible’. That attitude and approach to development, and bringing services to your community, is commendable,” said Fulford.

Council unanimously passed the motions for the letters of concurrence and to enter into a lease agreement with Bell Mobility Inc for the installation of the telecommunication towers.

Information on the upcoming broadband upgrades to Tiny are available on the township website.

Schedules for Tiny meetings are available on the council section of the township website. Meetings are streamed live and archived on the township of Tiny YouTube channel.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca

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