June 21, 2019 5:05 pm

Two N.L. communities raise $80,000 to bring cell tower to the region

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Fed up with lack of cellular service, two western Newfoundland communities have raised the necessary funds to bring a cell tower to their region.

A committee of Mainland and Three Rock Cove residents tried everything from talent shows, pumping gas, organizing dances and door-knocking to raise the approximate sum of $80,000 needed to green-light the project.

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Wendy Brake of the Newfoundland and Labrador Francophone Economic Development Network said she had been working with the communities over the need for cell reception since 2016.

She said the issue caused safety concerns, hindered economic development for local businesses and entrepreneurs, negatively affected tourism and drove young people to move away.

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The small French-speaking communities had to amass 15 per cent of the cell tower’s costs under a funding agreement with the provincial government and Bell Mobility.

A statement from the province’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation says that by last October’s deadline it had received 10 proposals for a pilot project to bring cellular coverage to more communities.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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