Tower development revisited

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 08:33 am

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A Christian-based broadcasting company is not giving up on Black Diamond in its quest to construct towers to provide radio service to Calgary.

Touch Broadcasting Canada is making a third attempt to build four 104.5 metre tall towers in the Black Diamond area to broadcast an AM Christian radio station to Calgary listeners.

The company purchased land one kilometre north of Black Diamond west of the Sheep River and is inviting input from area residents at a public consultation meeting on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley.

In a previous interview, the company claimed the area is ideal for its towers due to constraints in other rural areas around Calgary.

“(It is a) preferable area suited due to technical requirements of the AM signal required to serve the Calgary and surrounding area,” said general manager Darcy Hnatiuk last week.

Hnatiuk said more than 50 packages outlining the company’s plans were mailed to residents within a mile radius of the location.

The land was recommended by the MD of Foothills as an appropriate location to consider for the development, according to director of planning Heather Hemingway.

She said it is not in a high visibility area and there are a number of gravel pits in the area.

“When we looked at the area we thought it may be an appropriate location,” she said. “If the landowners still remain concerned they have the availability to speak to Transport Canada with respect to their concerns.”

Hemingway said the MD of Foothills was required by the federal government to recommend a location it would support for the development.

“For communication towers it’s a federal regulated development,” she said. “We have to provide support for land for the development. We have no ability to stop it. We do have the ability to indicate a level of support and non-support.”

Touch Broadcasting received opposition from the MD of Foothills and Black Diamond area residents for the last two locations it expressed interest in. The first was south of town near the Cowboy Trail in 2008. Residents were worried the towers would ruin the natural landscape of the tourist attraction.

Land purchased 1.5 kilometres west of the Cu Nim Gliding Club last year raised concerns the towers were too close to the airport and would impact the club’s flight patterns and pose potential danger in emergency landing situations and unfavourable weather conditions.

Hnatiuk said those two parcels of land will likely be sold.

Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown said the land in question this time is in an industrial area and appears to be more suitable.

“The new location is probably a way better location as far as the town goes,” she said.

Brown said a delegation of council members will attend the Dec. 5 open house to gather more information from Touch Broadcasting about the project.


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