Puslinch Mayor Brad Whitcombe says Bell Mobility has to try harder to address concerns of residents about a cell tower on Gore Road.
Whitcombe suggested on July 2 the township should try to negotiate with Bell one more time, rather than declaring an impasse and referring the matter to Industry Canada.
Residents have complained for months about the chosen location for two towers on Gore Road, south of the 401 and east of Wellington Road 35.
Residents say neither they nor the township were given proper notification about the towers, which they said are far too close to homes, may have environmental and health impacts, and may cause local property values to decline.
“We have been greatly disappointed in this whole process,” stated a May letter to Bell from resident Jason Turner and family.
“It’s not too late to do the right thing. Find a more suitable area for the tower, integrate it responsibly and thoughtfully into our community, and adhere to your published company creed.”
Since then Bell has agreed to move one tower, and has said it will build a large berm so the other is just 50% visible by nearby residents.
Whitcombe said he agrees with residents who say the berm idea is not a suitable solution. He added the concerns of residents are legitimate and he does not see why Bell can’t move the second tower as well.
Councillor Don McKay wondered if the township could suggest a better location for the tower. Whitcombe replied he tried that approach once with community mailboxes and it was “a pretty painful experience.”
Chief Building Official Dave Thompson, who has previously expressed some concern that he was not properly informed about the towers, said he would not be comfortable with suggesting an alternate location, as it might upset other residents.
Thompson noted that in Bell’s opinion, the company has already made efforts to mitigate the visual impacts of the towers.
“They’ve got to try a little harder,” Whitcombe replied. He said he would like to follow the same protocol the township has all along and try to talk to Bell one more time.
Thompson said he would draft a letter to Bell stating the township would like the company to deal with the second tower.