The regional district board received a letter and petition from Hedley residents regarding wireless service to the community at the regular board meeting on May 16.
The letter urged the board to provide a letter of support to Telus for a cellular tower in the community. It was accompanied by a 175 name petition as well as a letter from Graham Gore, Hedley VFD Manager, also supporting the establishment of cell service in the community.
A discussion at the March 7 board meeting over a Telus proposal to erect a monopole cell tower on Scott Avenue in Hedley resulted in a decision for Hedley Director Angelique Wood to consult Hedley residents about the proposal.
However, before that could be done, Telus announced its decision not to go forward with construction of the tower at this time and withdrew its request for a letter of concurrance from the board.
A number of Hedley residents were upset by the decision, taking umbrage with Director Wood for what they felt was a lack of initiative on her part in conducting the poll and not offering full support for the cell tower in the first place.
“All I was asking for was some sober second thought on the location of the cell tower,” Wood explained, “I fully understand that Telus needs to make a business case for a cell tower in Hedley, but I would also like to see some consideration given to “best practises” for tower locations as written by Industry Canada.” Wood noted that she is continuing a dialogue with Telus in an effort to reach a workable solution for all parties involved.
RDOS directors noted that the petition contained a number of signatures that appeared to be those of children, or outside the community, as well as multiple signatures from a number of unique addresses.
It was also pointed out that it might be beneficial to complete the poll contemplated by Wood in order to gauge community sentiment should a future opportunity for cell service present itself to Hedley.