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Mono approves new telecommunications tower

June 4, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – Mono Council has unanimously approved a proposal to place a new Rogers Telecommunications tower at the Toyota dealership at Highway 9 and 1st Line.

The tower, which is to be designed to look like a flag pole to blend in, is necessary to help boost the data signals received by cell phones.

Rogers spokesperson Sean Galbraith, told last week’s town council meeting that the overwhelming increase in customer usage as well as predicted growth in Mono  sparked the company to look into adding a tower. While he assured council and residents that all health and safety codes had been abided by, many residents continued to express their concern regarding the potential health problems from the waves.

The proposed tower, tested by Health Canada according to their regulations for radio waves, would only omit 1.14% of the allowable limit, or the equivalent of someone sitting four feet away from their wireless router, which council was told many people do.

“Every tower is required to be certified by a professional radio frequency engineer, and it’s calculated on a worst case scenario,” explained Mr. Galbraith. “It assumes all antennas are operating at full strength and that you are as close to the antenna as possible, and in this instance it would be at 1.14% of the code (Code 6) set out by Health Canada.”

He also addressed concerns expressed earlier by Councillor Elaine Capes about Rogers wanting to get an added presence, reassuring her that the only reason the tower was looked into was based on the data received about an increasing number of dropped calls and failed form requests through data services.

At the time, council decided to table the decision until the May 27 meeting, so councillors could have more time to review the information and pursue research for themselves.

“I came to the meeting prepared to support it, but I think I would like to do a little more reflection,” explained Councillor Bob Mitchell.

“I’d like to do a little more homework so I can understand more of it.”

During the interval, they received several emails in protest from residents in the area who said if the tower was built they would move away and take a financial hit as they weren’t willing to put their families at risk.

“My family will be moving into a new subdivision in the near future walking distance to where this tower may be located and we are fearful of the effects this will have on our health,” wrote one future resident. “Assuming this proposition passes and the tower goes up I would be more likely to take my losses and sell. Better to lose money than our lives.”

However, Councillor Mitchell presented his findings and research, which showed there is no conclusive evidence or link between cancer claims surrounding cell phone towers, and suggested that the tower would not cause health problems.

“I did go to the Web and looked at several sources of information,” he said. “I looked at the Health Canada website and World Health, and in both cases, while they suggest that there may be some concern about this electromagnetic force causing health problems on cell phones, both suggest it is not a significant concern at all. Claims of cancer from situations like this are not substantiated from any science.”

The final vote by council was unanimous to pass the motion allowing the installation of the tower.

         

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