Kimberley City Council has approved the installation of a wireless communications tower on what is known as Concentrator Hill in the Taylors Mill Landing development site east of the City.
The Freedom Mobile cellular tower will be located between existing communications towers, approximately 1.5km east of the City’s Public Works Yard and the Kimberley Cemetery on Knighton Road.
Mayor Don McCormick says that the tower will result in improved cellular service for residents.
Chief Financial Officer Jim Hendricks explained that the tower may also bring in extra tax revenue down the road.
He adds that the original idea was to tie into the already existing Telus communications tower, but there wasn’t enough room to do so. The new tower will approximately 10m be shorter than the existing ones, and City staff have expressed no concerns or objections to the proposal.
At the beginning of June, notification letters were sent to residents and other affected parties within a radius of three times the height of the tower, and an opportunity to provide comments was offered at the time.
On July 15 the consultation period ended and no comments were received.
In a letter to the City, Freedom Mobile explained that many factors came into play when choosing the location of the tower including frequency of operation, local topography, patters of wireless users, building heights, road patters, availability of land and existing structures.
They also explained that availability of a willing property owner is a major consideration and Freedom Mobile has entered into a long-term agreement with the property owner to permit installation.
The Freedom Mobile communications tower is completely different from the EMS/Radio tower that was proposed at a location in Marysville back in May of this year. 13 letters of opposition to that tower were received by Council at the time and the City is currently reveiwing different options.