By Stephen Petrick
A plan by Rogers Communications to build a new telecommunications tower off of Maple Ridge Drive in Dorset is still a go, after Algonquin Highlands council gave the go-ahead at its Nov. 18 virtual meeting.
The project was discussed at a meeting in October but the vote was deferred to allow time for the municipality to ask more questions about the project and another already-existing Bell tower that was causing concerns.
Councillors wondered if the project could be built attached to an already existing Bell Tower, but Rogers said that was not possible. They also got confirmation that the project is part of, and not in conflict with, an Eastern Ontario Regional Network plan, a project to improve infrastructure for cell phone and internet service to rural areas.
Council also got assurance that an already existing tower, on Kawagama Lake, had a “shield” added to it recently, to minimize the light it emits at night.
The Rogers tower project was first proposed in 2015, but has been delayed. The agreement council now has with Rogers for construction on the tower expires in November 2024.
A report to council said the project fits with the township’s strategic plan to maintain infrastructure and “create an environment that fosters year-round economic, cultural and recreational vitality.” It also said it will have no impact on Algonquin Highlands’ budget.