South-west Edmonton community prepares to fight Telus
Julia Parrish, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:54AM MDT
Residents of another south-side neighbourhood are getting ready to fight a major wireless company, after plans came to light that Telus is looking to install a massive cell phone tower in the community.
Approximately 70 Greenfield residents gathered to discuss the proposed 25 metre cell phone tower that would be installed at the Greenfield Baptist Church, and near the community school.
"I accept the fact that there is some in the city, and we're going to need cell towers to get cell [phone reception] there," Koko Aytenfisu, a resident against the plan, said Saturday. "But absolutely not anywhere near the school.
"Thirty metres is not far enough."
The residents only found out the plan was in the works a few days ago, and also learned the church had already signed a contract allowing Telus to build on the property, leaving some residents feeling betrayed.
"I'm disappointed with the church," Dale Kirkland, who lives across the street from the church, said at the meeting. "[I am disappointed with] the fact that they didn't come across the street to consult with my wife and I regarding this tower."
Church staff said Telus agreed the church would be let out of the contract if there was overwhelming opposition to the plan.
Former councillor for the neighbourhood Bryan Anderson made a brief appearance at Saturday's meeting to answer questions, and said community members would have to work hard to fight the proposal.
Anderson suggested they would have to find more than just the health argument to fight with.
"Cell phone towers that had been put up in a variety of locations in and around Edmonton would've had the same argument, and they are still up and functioning," Anderson said.
The Saturday meeting allowed residents to prepare for a meeting later this week.
Residents will sit down with Church officials and Telus on Wednesday night – and a decision on the tower is expected a short time later.
With files from Amanda Anderson