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Proposed tower opposed

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A group of residents are concerned about a proposed telecommunications tower on County Road 2, near Hudson Point Road, in the township of Elizabethtown-Kitley, for what they say are aesthetic and health reasons.

Xplornet Communications Inc. has proposed a 75-metre tower at 1260 County Road 2 but a group of residents would like to see the tower located at the Ministry of Transportation depot at the intersection of County Road 2 and Highway 401 instead.

“If it was just 1.1 kilometres up the road, we wouldn't feel the same way,” said Deborah Kirkland, a Hudson Point Road resident opposed to the tower.

Kirkland said she is concerned about possible electromagnetic radiation and radio frequency waves coming from the tower. As well, the tower's aesthetics and a possible decline in property values worry the group.

“I'd look at my picture window and that would be what I'd see,” said Kirkland, who already has high-speed Internet on Hudson Point Road.

“This thing is going to be hanging over our heads.”

Kirkland and other township residents Barry Plotz and Willie Smithwick have been collecting signatures on a petition opposing the tower. So far, 150 people have signed the petition opposing the tower, with only three people asked refusing to sign.

The group will also be presenting a delegation at an Elizabethtown-Kitley township council meeting Monday night.

“We want it rejected,” said Kirkland. “We want the same consideration Woodridge got.”

Kirkland is referring to a similar proposal for a telecommunications tower on Woodridge Road, about 1.5 kilometres east of Hudson Point Road.

Xplornet proposed a tower there in 2012, but the proposal was nixed by council in November, after strong opposition by residents.

“Half of the people who signed our petition were concerned about the other tower,” Kirkland said.

Under regulations, Xplornet notified residents living within three time the tower's height about the proposed construction. Kirkland said only a handful of people along Hudson Point Road received the letter or saw the printed notice about the tower.

“Who even saw this to even know it was happening?” Kirkland said.

Member of Provincial Parliament Steve Clark sent a letter to the Minister of Transportation Glen Murray opposing the tower. Elizabethtown-Kitley Township Mayor Jim Pickard said council has the final say on the tower and welcomes the feedback from the public.

“This is not a done deal,” Pickard said.

Pickard said another public meeting could be called with representatives from Xplornet, depending on how Monday's meeting goes.

“This is part of the public process...We look forward to hearing from them,” Pickard said.

An Xplornet communications representative did not return a call requesting comment.

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