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Blog / Will Ada Township reconsider Forest Hills Eastern campus for

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 at 21:28

Fire Damages Cell Tower, Kills Two Ospreys

While the school board never voted on the proposal, members gave "clear direction" to school administrators that they weren't interested in having the tower in that location. Now residents are asking the township to revisit the issue of placing the communications equipment on the water tower, also located on the Forest Hills Eastern campus. Attorney Matt Zimmerman was retained by neighbors living closest to the proposed Knapp location. "My clients respectively request that the township contact the school to see if they would consider having the tower on school property, that the board support a request for AT&T to change locations and ask AT&T to extend the deadline to allow for time to explore different options." Looking for the site that "will make the least people unhappy" should be the township goal, said Zimmerman. Resident Erika Irving, who lives within viewing distance of the proposed tower, told the board she and others in opposition to the move had attended a school board meeting earlier that evening to ask if they would consider allowing AT&T to use the water tower site on school property. "Superintendent Behm said that the reason they didn't want it on the athletic field was the size of the base needed to house the equipment," she said. Irving also referred to a "pledge made by the township to residents near the tower" to not construct another tall structure on that site. She asked the board if the township would at the very least consider reopening that discussion. The "unwritten pledge" was made as a result of a land transfer to school property when a lawsuit threatened to stop the township from finishing construction of the water tower, said Township Planner Jim Ferro. Behm said that"AT&T told the school district that they were not interested in the water tower site." "We didn't take any action on the last proposal (for a tower on Eastern athletic field) because we were concerned about the amount of square footage of real estate at the base, which would be right by the track and walkways unto the field," said Behm. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

Since the poles started cropping up in the 1990s, municipalities and telecom companies have found interesting ways to blend the technology into various landscapes. In Los Angeles, they're disguised as palm trees. In New York, some look like flagpoles, and in Nebraska a tower is fitted with functional stadium lights at a local high school football field. Vancouver has an even more sleek solution: the multi-purpose V-Pole - part cellphone tower, part parking meter, part Wi-Fi terminal and part street light. To top it off, the proposed V-Pole is designed by visual artist and author Douglas Coupland. There are 35 enhancements of cell coverage underway in Saskatoon - everything from building stealth towers to replacing antennas on the tops of buildings. Macfarlane wouldn't confirm if the Briarwood tower, which sits near the bank of an artificial lake, will be disguised or painted a different colour. She would only say SaskTel officials are investigating the options. The tower does meet all the requirements of both Industry Canada and a new city bylaw enacted in January. "We will do anything we can to alleviate the concerns while maximizing the customer demand we have for capacity," Macfarlane said. Still, Briarwood residents such as community association president Chad Shatz think more could be done to make sure the tower fits into his area. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit

SaskTel explores camouflage towers

Fish and Wildlife Service, the only agency that can dispose ofthem. A few firefighters remained on scene with a grass rig well into the afternoon as smoke continued to come out of the tower. According to assistant general manager Terry Kelly, Salem Electric dispatched a crew that disconnected power from the tower so fire crews could work around itsafely. The tower is owned by Crown Castle International Corporation, which owns, operates and leases towers. The site is co-located by a few wireless carriers, including AT&T, said Andy Colley of AT&T CorporateCommunications. AT&T customers in the immediate area will not be able to connect to the cell site due to the fire, Colley wrote in an email. Tower technicians are working to repair the damage as quickly aspossible. Colley also said customers may experience reduced coverage around the site, which includes parts of Highway 22 west of Salem. The surrounding network has been optimized to reduce the effect on AT&T customers until the cell site can be repaired and brought back intoservice. Calls to Crown Castle communications were not returnedMonday. Ron Robinsons family has owned the property where the cell site is located for 40 years. He said an incident like Mondays has never happened on the propertybefore. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit


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