Rogers is still exploring locations to install a new cell phone tower in Nakusp to compete with Telus and Bell. However, despite resident and council backlash, the company is still considering their original location of Zaks Road, two kilometres outside of the village.
This idea has sparked a petition with more than 400 signatures and a letter from local governments opposed to the placement.
Critics argue a tower there would shrink property values, create an unpleasant view and would act as a catalyst for more towers.
Rogers has confirmed only one tower is in the works right now.
Instead, petition organizers Mike and Marie Wrede, along with Nakusp village council and the majority of Zaks Road residents, would like to see the tower placed out of the village or where the Telus tower now stands on Nakusp East Road.
“We have never been against the service,” Marie Wrede wrote in a letter to the Arrow Lakes News. “We know cell towers are here to stay, but we feel that due to the geographic aspect of our regions, surrounded by peaks and mountains, there has to be a location away from people’s home and towns, and not in a location where it will be an eyesore for all to see.”
The Wrede’s and village councillors do note concerns other than the aesthetic reasons, such as possible health risks with having a tower close by.
“There’s no consensus on what the damage is,” Coun. Cam Leitch said during the Dec. 14 council meeting speaking on this tower. “But there’s enough uncertainty to warrant concern.”
Critics have been asking Rogers why they won’t co-locate with the Telus tower, or use that very tower and accept a roaming agreement.
In Rogers’ original proposal, it states they cannot put a tower on Nakusp East Road because of a height requirement issue. When asked if that has changed, Rogers said that issue is still the same.
The Rogers tower is proposed to be 45-metres tall. The Telus tower stands at 48-metres tall.
Shawn Hall, Telus spokesperson, told the Arrow Lakes News in November when this tower was first announced they would be open to a roaming deal with Rogers.
Sara Holland, communications manager for Rogers, said at this time there’s nothing new to report on their proposal.
“We continue our work to explore alternative locations,” she said. “These things take time.”
Holland declined to answer questions about why the company chose the Zaks Road site, if any complaints have changed the company’s mind or if they are open to placing the tower on Nakusp East Road.
The Arrow Lakes News will be providing more updates as they become available.