The new Annapolis County council is faced with big decisions regarding public transportation.
Bell Mobility is looking for a new site for a telecommunications tower in New Minas, but it won’t be at the Kings Transit headquarters.
Kings Transit board chairwoman Patricia Bishop said the board supported a staff recommendation not to have a cell tower installed at the Kings Transit facility. Colliers International (Nova Scotia) Inc., an agent for Bell Mobility, approached the transit authority in May about a possible land lease that would have seen a tower erected on the Kings Transit property. Bishop said Bell is interested in increasing service in the New Minas area.
“The structure they wanted was a lot bigger than what would be comfortable in that location,” Bishop said. “The buses take a lot of space to move around.”
According to a staff report from interim general manager Brian Taylor, the proposal was for a 50-metre, self-supported tower with a six-foot-eight-inch by eight-foot shelter room and a right of way to the tower. The tower would be placed within a 50-foot by 50-foot fenced area.
The transit authority would have received between $2,500 and $3,000 annually for the lease and any taxes on the property. The tower could have possibly generated more revenue for Kings Transit if another service provider co-located on the structure.
Staff considered the initial tower design too large for the site, prompting Colliers to propose an enclosed tower design instead, subject to approval by Bell.
Kings Transit staff recommended against the project, in part because lease payments wouldn’t be sufficient to warrant use of the property.
“We (the board) were thinking the amount of money wasn’t comparable to the inconvenience,” Bishop said.
Other reasons for turning down the proposal included that the corner of the lot Bell had in mind is where they pile snow in the winter. The board considered the size of the fenced area intrusive to the Kings Transit facility. The proposed lease was for a five-year period, with three consecutive renewals of five years each, at the discretion of Bell, and included a clause that would give Bell sole right to terminate the lease.
There was also concern over the proximity to an eagle’s nest and maintaining the right of way in the winter months. It was expected that it would take three months to construct the tower and Bell would have required additional space during construction.