An antenna will be added to the existing Telus tower on Little Giant’s Head Mountain, despite some concerns about the potential health risks.
Concerns had been raised about electromagnetic radiation from the tower. Similar concerns had been raised several years earlier, when the tower was set up.
Jeremy Denegar, director of corporate services for the municipality, said the health risks from the tower are low. The much greater health risks would come from the individual cellular phones, which are held close to the head when one is on a call.
He added that a public consultation session hosted by Rogers Telecommunications went above and beyond what is required.
Coun. Orv Robson said he could not see substantial concerns about the additional antenna.
Mayor Janice Perrino added that the antenna allows Rogers Telecommunications to compete in Summerland. The existing tower is owned by Telus.
“This is all about fairness,” she said.
Coun. Martin Van Alphen said the request for the antenna came because of concerns about cellular service in the area.
“Rogers wouldn’t be here if the public wasn’t demanding better service,” he said.
Coun. Peter Waterman was the sole dissenting voice at the council table.
He said he has looked at information from Europe, where concerns about similar antennas has resulted in strict regulations.
He said the potential health risks from an additional antenna must be considered.
The installation of the antenna was approved with Waterman opposed.