Council have denied Rossland Radio Co-op’s request to move the radio tower from Second Street to the co-op’s present location on Columbia Avenue.
Coun. Andy Stradling wanted council to look at other places for the tower.
“I struggled to understand why we were talking about a repeater at a new location without really trying to find a way to make the current tower more effective.,” Stradling said. “It’s much easier to keep the large tower in it’s current location and find a way to make it work better than to relocate it and then look for a repeater.”
Stradling said he wished he could have talked to Marty Cancilla, who proposed the move, about why they wanted to move it and not find another way to just boost the signal.
He said he is also concerned about moving a large structure, like the tower, to a temporary leased city building, since it could lock the city into the building.
“As long as theres no reason for it to leave its current location I’d like to see a no, but if that’s the case, I’d just like to explore other options.”
Coun. Jill Spearn said that council had been gracious in giving the co-op the Rotary building.
“We were generous enough to let them move into that building and use that building of the city’s,” she said, “And now we’re being asked for this gigantic tower, which really I’m so glad that a letter from one of the residents pointed out the disproportion of what it looked like in the picture. For me it’s totally incongruent with that neighbourhood.”
Spearn called the tower an eyesore and was not in favour of it impacting the entrance of our city.
“I, too, am fovour of the co-op, but the building came and now this is the second part of it which, kind of limits up to the use of that building.”
Spearn said she’s always been an advocate of getting rid of the building, sighting that it could be something along the line of housing for seniors.
Coun. Kathy Wallace agreed, saying she was in favour of the co-op, but would like to them find a home that would provide long-term sustainability, which she didn’t think the Rotary building could provide.
“The aesthetics of putting that 17 metre tower there is just not a good idea,” Wallace said. “I would like to see them find a long-term home and I’ve got some ideas of where that would be.”
Wallace said there are just too many things up in the air in the community at the moment.
Coun. Hanne Smith said the motion was tough, since she supports the co-op, but also didn’t see the location as the right place for the tower.
“I’m with Coun. Stradling in hoping that we help them with information as their going forward with the search for a place,” Smith said.
Spearn suggested that Rossland Secondary would be a great place to house the station.
“It remains to be seen what our school, the facilities are going to look like in Rossland, but I thought it would be kind of cool if they went up to RSS and incorporated their radio co-op program,” Spearn said. “How great would that be?”
The mayor said that there could be some positive things that come out of this for the co-op.
“I do think moving a permanent facility into a temporary site is probably not the best idea for the City of Rossland or for the co-op,” he said, adding that doing something with the Neighbourhoods of Learning could be an economic driver in the community.
The decision was unanimous to deny the co-ops request.
The mayor added that it isn’t to say council doesnt support the co-op.