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WATCH: Osoyoos residents oppose cell tower proposal

OSOYOOS — Armed with a pen and paper, Martin Saad is determined to fill a petition opposing a cell tower proposal.¬† He lives just across the street from where Rogers Communications plans on erecting the 115-foot cell tower. Rogers says the proposed tower, which will be on a vineyard property near Highway 97 and 92 Avenue, will improve cell phone coverage in the Osoyoos area.

The telecommunications giant has been running ads in a local paper and sent out information packages to nearby residents. Yet Saad isn’t among those who have been contacted by Rogers.¬†

“I’m surprised that I didn’t get this package that allows you to critique and give input,” he says.

Andrew Garas, a Rogers¬†Consumer Communications Specialist, says the company follows Industry Canada’s regulations of notifying properties located within three times the height of the proposed tower.

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According to its calculations, just five homes meet that criteria. And that’s not sitting well with other residents.

“You would think for something of that magnitude, everyone would be informed,” says Ryan Street, another nearby resident.

Saad says the proposed tower will be a major eyesore. In addition to that, he’s worried about the health implications of living near a cell tower.

“The jury is out right now on what cell phone towers can do to you, so why take the chance?”

But the telecommunications company says its towers follow standards set out by Health Canada.

Osoyoos Regional District Director Mark Pendergraft says if there’s enough interest, there may be an open house in the future for people to voice their concerns.

Rogers is doing a consultation of its own.

People have until February 23 to email their comments to publicconsultation@cypresslandservices.com with reference site: W3601 – Osoyoos.