Ayer's Cliff says NO to tower

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Ayer's Cliff

About sixty peo­ple turned up at the Ayer’s Cliff monthly coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day night which was held at the Le­gion Hall for the third time be­cause of the num­ber of cit­i­zens at­tend­ing the meet­ings. This time most of the cit­i­zens went away happy, know­ing that their coun­cil is lis­ten­ing to them, as they learnt at the meet­ing that the town had re­jected all of Videotron’s al­ter­nate pro­pos­als of sites for the cell phone tower. Videotron ini­tially wanted to in­stall the huge tower, which would have been around 50 me­tres or higher, near the Tomi­fo­bia Na­ture Trail.

“The res­i­dents at the meet­ing gave a round of ap­plause to the coun­cil,” said Kim­ball Smith, the town’s General Di­rec­tor. “Our cit­i­zens have spo­ken about con­cerns over health is­sues, en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, wildlife is­sues. But the bot­tom line is that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple don’t want the tower.” A pe­ti­tion with 341 sig­na­tures was pre­sented to the coun­cil dur­ing the meet­ing, im­pres­sive com­ing from a town of about 1,200 res­i­dents.

“We didn’t like any of the al­ter­nate sites that Videotron pro­posed. It wasn’t just the aes­thet­ics; the tow­ers were also es­sen­tially too high, es­pe­cially for a small flat vil­lage. Our reg­u­la­tion says 30 me­tres high max­i­mum in a green zone, and they wanted to erect one 45 to 60 me­tres high. We’re push­ing hard that we are a tourist des­ti­na­tion – you don’t see any cell-phone tow­ers in Mont Trem­blant,” added Mr. Smith.

The ques­tion seems to be who is re­ally in con­trol of land use. “Land use is usu­ally con­trolled by towns and the MRC’s. But the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try seems to have a higher God. Per­haps the new fed­eral gov­ern­ment will lis­ten to lo­cal gov­ern­ment more,” said the Di­rec­tor.

The town plans to con­tact all its avail­able net­works, such as the Fed­er­a­tion of Que­bec Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the of­fice of MP and Min­is­ter Marie-Claude Bibeau, to help them in this fight. Res­i­dents also learnt that a let­ter has been sent to Brome-Mis­sisquoi MP De­nis Par­adis ask­ing for, among other things re­lated to cell-phone tow­ers, a mora­to­rium on the in­stal­la­tion of tow­ers where there al­ready is cell-phone ser­vice. The let­ter was signed by all of the may­ors of the Mem­phrem­a­gog MRC with one ex­cep­tion: the mayor of Can­ton Pot­ton. “Videotron has prob­a­bly al­ready con­tacted In­dus­try Canada about this,” men­tioned Mr. Smith.

Other news in­cluded the ac­cep­tance by the own­ers of Au­berge Ayer’s Cliff to al­low their prop­erty to be des­ig­nated as a her­itage site. Coun­cil voted to give a $500 grant to the Lake Mas­saw­ippi Con­ser­va­tion Club for the fish­ing day for chil­dren on June 4th.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.