Second cell phone tower planned for Saint-Lazare
By John Jantak
PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK
Though the residents may not like it, Saint-Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo said there’s very little recourse anyone can take against a communications company installing a tower with the agreement of a private landowner.
Plans by Rogers Communications to install a second 47.5-metre tall cellular tower on private property near the intersection of Chemin Saint-Louis and Côte Saint-Charles has sparked concerns among some area residents about the proposal.
Mayor Robert Grimaudo responded saying there was nothing the municipality could do to stop the project from proceeding even if they opposed it.
People have very little say
“It’s an interesting situation because the communications companies go through the procedures they are obliged to go through according to the federal government. These companies will listen to people’s recommendations but we have very little say about their rights to put up a tower where they want,” said Grimaudo.
“The federal government tells them, ‘You can do that,’ and then they go ahead and do it. We can tell them, ‘No, we don’t want a tower there because it’s going to be ugly,’ or list other reasons but we have very little power,” Grimaudo added.
He said the owners of the property have made a deal with Rogers to rent out a piece of their land so the tower can be built.
Public consultation process
One of the requirements communications companies are required to fulfill is to send out a notice to all the residents who live within a certain distance of where a new tower will be erected and tell them they are welcome to participate in a public consultation process regarding their plans.
“They’re obliged to advise the people but the long and short of it is that the residents and the town can complain until we’re blue in the face about opposing the proposed location of a tower. The reality is the communications companies have all the power go ahead with their plans that is given to them by the federal government,” said Grimaudo.
Federal regulations compliance
“We can make all kinds of recommendations but it’s up to the communications companies to abide and comply with them or do whatever they want, and they usually do whatever they want. We can protest but Rogers is complying with all the federal regulations that govern communications towers,” Grimaudo added.
This is the second cellular tower that will be built in Saint-Lazare. Rogers announced its intention to build its first tower in the municipality about three month ago on private property on Chemin Chevrier. The town has no idea as to when construction of the towers will begin.
Mayoral duties in case of absence
Council also approved plans that will enable the current councillors to learn the functions and responsibilities related to the mayoral position in case Mayor Grimaudo is unable to adequately perform his duties due to an emergency.
“If, for any reason, I have an emergency and can’t fulfill my duties for one or two weeks, we want to put a process in place where even if I’m not there, someone in the administration will be able to take all the files, meetings, and everything else and follow-through during my absence,” said Grimaudo.