New design for Bell tower at Legion


 By Barb McKay


A new, more non-descript design for the Bell telecommunications tower at the Kincardine Legion has the support of Heritage Kincardine.


Representatives from the Legion, Bell Mobility, the Municipality of Kincardine and Heritage Kincardine met May 22 to try and work out a compromise for the 25-metre telecommunications tower. Bell Mobility is leasing space on the Legion property on Lambton Street from the Kincardine Legion branch for the telecommunications tower in order to provide better wireless coverage in the downtown core and along the lakeshore. Originally, the tower was to be 35 metres tall, but after concerns were raised by Heritage Kincardine and some municipal council members about the visibility of the structure, Bell agreed to lower the height to 25 metres. The company has indicated that the height can’t be reduced further because the tower has to be able to communicate with towers in the south end of the municipality.


Laura Haight, who represented the Legion at the meeting, along with Bob Forrest, said Bell Mobility presented a new design that does more to camouflage the tower. The legs of the tower will be painted a dark grey, rather than white, and the Legion name of the tower will be replaced with poppies to make it appear less commercial.


“We all agreed that no matter what colour you paint it it will still be visible,” Haight said, “so why not use poppies.”


She said the bottom line is that better cellular reception is needed in the lakeshore area. An increasing number of people are using cell phones, not just for conversations, but also to share photos and videos, and there is a capacity issue. Haight said the Legion board agreed to approve the new tower design at its meeting last Wednesday.


Patti Richards, of Heritage Kincardine, said Friday that the board would meet Monday.


“Provided they approved what we agreed upon, Heritage Kincardine is going to be fine with it,” she said.

Personally, Richards said, she still believes the tower should be located elsewhere or that the towers in the south could be amped up. She said having a large cellular tower in a residential neighbourhood with heritage homes is not appropriate.


That being said, Richards said, Heritage Kincardine will continue to support the Legion.


“We are supporting the Legion in putting in a new patio and we will support any work that needs to be done to preserve the Legion,” she said. “The Legion is a part of our heritage. Those men and women created what we are living today.”