A Crown Castle request to modify 11 existing wireless base stations on utility poles was approved by the Council last week despite members feeling their, “backs were against the wall,” reported ItemLive. The modifications are intended to bring a higher speed 4G network to the area and prepare for 5G.
“I don’t think that’s fair, to be perfectly honest with you,” said City Council President Darren Cyr. “I just don’t like having our backs put up against the wall by anybody, ever.
I don’t like people threatening us or taking us to court or challenging, or anything like that. I don’t think it’s fair to the people we represent.”
According to Crown Castle attorney Edward Pare, the new antenna would be two inches longer, two inches deeper and 16 inches wider. Additionally, electronic equipment housed in a shroud at the base stations would also increase.
Crown’s proposal to modify the equipment was not popular among residents, who voiced their opinions at the public hearing, reported ItemLive. Some residents complained about the noise level from the fans located inside the equipment shroud at the base stations, worrying the noise will only get louder with the modifications. Resident Robert Trudeau said that moving the antenna to another pole up the street would mitigate noise concerns at his home.
Resident Paul Theo says he already feels the effects from the signals of the existing equipment, causing “popping” headaches which he attributes to the high levels of magnetic radiation.
Although the council voted to approve Crown Castle’s request to modify equipment, a condition stands where a company representative must appear before the panel next month to prove that the existing wireless base stations are the only possible locations. The representative must also consider if equipment can be moved to another utility pole on the same street, to mitigate some of the residents’ concerns, reported ItemLive.
“I get that there’s a cost to doing that, but it’s our job as councilors to protect the health and welfare of the public,” said Cyr.
June 26, 2019