New public hearing required due to “insufficient postage”

By Scott Costen

An administrative error has prompted Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) to schedule a second public hearing and vote on a proposed telecommunications tower.

Following a public hearing Nov. 27, council voted 5-3 to approve construction of the cell tower on Meadow Pond Lane in Liverpool. On Dec. 11, based on legal advice, council voted to invalidate this decision because nearby property owners weren’t adequately notified about the hearing.

“Unfortunately, none of the assessed property owners received notification of the public hearing for the cell phone tower,” RQM communications coordinator Heather Cook said by email. “The letters were inadvertently sent with insufficient postage and returned to the municipality three weeks after being mailed. The date they were returned was several days after the date of the public hearing.”

Two members of the public spoke during the Nov. 27 hearing, both expressing concerns the cell tower could endanger the health of nearby residents. Cook said their verbal input, along with written communications received for the first hearing, “will remain on the public record.”

The new public hearing will be held Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. in council chambers. “Those owning property within 200 feet of the proposed development will be notified in writing of the details of the new public hearing,” Cook said.