Public consultation is underway for a proposed cell tower in Pemberton.
The 20-metre tower would be built in the parking lot of the Pemberton Legion at 7444 Prospect Street.
On Thursday, Feb. 5, proponent Rogers held an open house at the Cottonwood Community Centre in Pemberton.
Community members for and against were in attendance to ask questions and learn more about the tower.
"I'm not crazy about it," said Nicole Beaudry, who lives near the proposed site.
"I don't want to see it going up in my community, and I do not want radiofrequency waves affecting me or my health."
The Rogers tower would be built next to a pre-existing Telus tower.
"This information that we have (regarding radiofrequency output) is what comes off one tower," Beaudry said.
"So now we're going to have two towers... that's going to impact me twice as much as what they're saying here."
Beaudry has started a petition opposing the tower, which she says she'll present to council at an upcoming meeting.
She's also hoping to find some experts to speak to the possible health effects of cell towers.
"I think you've got to hear both sides of the coin," she said.
"Tonight we're going to hear their side, and I would like the community to hear the other side."
For the Pemberton Legion, the tower presents a financial opportunity for a not-for-profit group run by volunteers.
Rogers approached the Legion last year to gauge interest, after which Legion members voted in favour of continuing to the next step of public consultation, said Legion president Lesley Clark.
"The Royal Canadian Legion Pemberton Branch is a not-for-profit group that works hard in the community to promote remembrance, support our veterans and be a focal point for community fundraisers," Clark said in a follow up email.
"We provide annual bursaries to Pemberton Secondary School for students going on to further education, we support the Pemberton Food Bank, and have given support to local sports teams and individuals, as well as donating funds to Legion Programs such as the Veterans Transition Program and Legion Military Skills Conversion Program."
The amount of money the Legion will receive is "confidential," Clark said, but it will go towards the upkeep of the building.
Lisa Haeck is also on the board of directors with the Legion, but she said her support of the tower is for different reasons.
"At the end of the day, no matter how much we discuss radiofrequency waves or radiation, when I dial 911, I want to be able to get through to an emergency responder if there's a problem," she said.
"In the past we've had problems trying to call from our basements or our garages, so this tower is going to make all the difference."
In an information package sent out to residents, Rogers states that Pemberton "is experiencing a growing demand for wireless services and the associated devices," such as smart phones, tablets and laptops.
"Rogers... has been working with the Village of Pemberton staff to find a suitable location for a telecommunications tower to provide improved coverage to your community," the letter states.
Rogers representatives were unable to comment on the record at the open house.
A communications rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Written comments may be made to Rogers before Friday, Feb. 13.
Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Cavalier Land Ltd, ATTN: Michael Cameron, 400-440 2 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB, T2P 5E9.
For more information on the proposal visit www.pemberton.ca/blog/2015/1/15/proposed-wireless-structure/.
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