DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Bell Canada recently approached council with plans to add a new telecommunications tower to the town in the hopes of improving the area's cell phone and wireless internet service.
James Kennedy appeared before councillors at their meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, to outline the project, which would see the addition of a 35-metre tower at 20 Victoria St., home to Newmarket Pre-Cast Concrete Products.
Uxbridge residents have long sought improved coverage from telecommunications providers, and as Mr. Kennedy explained, the new tower will go a long way to improve coverage.
"Uxbridge, as a little known fact, is in the top 10 in coverage complaints in Canada," said Mr. Kennedy. "This site is meant to provide coverage inside of town, and compliment the existing towers east and west of Uxbridge. It's a lot like street lights. They're designed to cover a certain distance and when coverage from one spot ends, coverage from another facility needs to begin."
Mr. Kennedy went on to explain that the tower would look like a flagpole, as the company looks to reduce the size of towers and have them look as "stealth" as possible, and have them look like they are part of the existing landscape. According to Mr. Kennedy, in addition to Bell, the site would also provide coverage for Telus customers.
Construction of the tower is expected to take place closest to the train tracks on the site, and will sit approximately 96 metres away from the closest residence.
"We've tried to be at least three times the height of the tower away from residential, or as close as we can get without impacting the facility," added Mr. Kennedy.
Later, Mr. Kennedy responded positively to a request from Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger to have trees and shrubs planted near the base of the tower.
The next step in the process, as explained by Township CAO Ingrid Svelnis is to have documentation submitted to the township as well as consultation with the building department and nearby residents.
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