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Residents shun proposed tower

Group asks town to reject land-lease deal
by Lisa Brown

 MAHONE BAY - A group of residents from Martins River is speaking out against a proposal to build a communication tower in their neighbourhood.

 More than two dozen people have signed a letter to EastLink indicating they don't want the 75-metre tower built on the proposed location off Highway 3 in Oakland.

 That letter suggests concerns about possible health and environmental risks associated with long-term exposure, as well as the potential negative impact on property values.

 "The introduction of this structure into the landscape would forever alter the character of the area," the letter reads.

 The group forwarded a copy of the letter to the Town of Mahone Bay, along with a request for officials to reconsider an earlier decision to lease the property to EastLink for the tower.

 The land in question is owned by the town as part of its watershed area.

 Elected officials discussed the letter at a July 12 council meeting.

 "It is not within the watershed," Mayor Joe Feeney said.

 Communication towers are regulated by the federal government. Industry Canada will hold a public hearing regarding EastLink's request to build the tower before approving or rejecting it.

 "We haven't signed any agreement yet," the mayor said, suggesting town officials wait to see the outcome of the application process.

 "If they say no, then we're not signing. If they say yes, then we have to decide what to do next," he said.

 The town would receive an annual rental fee from EastLink as part of the deal. With no contract signed, the amount, if yet decided, is not being made public.



posted on 07/19/11
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