Cell Tower Open House Coming Up This Thursday

This is just a reminder that the Altus Group will be holding a public information session / open house this Thursday April 12th at 7pm in Milton Leisure Centre.

As viewers of this blog will know, there is a lot of discussion amongst local residents about this ranging from outright opposition to people accepting it as a way of improving mobile services in town.  I urge you to send me your comments as well as the contact at the Altus Group before April 12th to make sure your views are heard.

I have spent a number of days door knocking the area in ward 6 listening to concerns from residents and answering any questions that I can.  There is a lot of data to review and its not an easy issue to deal with.  The best advice I would have is to get as much information as possible during this public process.

Recently CHCH News had a story on some of the local residents commenting on the potential tower installation.

If you remember back at the beginning of March, I posted the information that was sent to councillors in the area to ensure there is a full and open discussion of what is coming down the road with this potential cell phone tower installation. According to the guidelines & regulations, the Town of Milton notifies the residents within the 120 m radius of these types of issues. Im not saying thats wrong, but I am not a fan of that small radius and think that in cases like this, more homes should be notified, hence my original posting. I wanted to ensure as many people as possible are informed of whats happening and provide sources of information so that we are all fully informed and get both sides of the issue. The final decision belongs to Industry Canada and the town provides its comments during this public process.

There are a number of residents circulating a petition against the cell tower and if you would like more information send an email to me and I can forward you their contact information.

No matter what side of the issue you are on, I do urge you to review the available information in my previous posts, comments on the blog as well as what the Altus Group will present at its public information session on the 12th.

I look forward to attending the meeting on the 12th and I hope to see you there.

Velodrome Public Session Last Night

On behalf of Regional Councillor Colin Best and myself, I would like to thank everyone who attended the public session on the velodrome last night.  The turnout was a lot better than many other sessions Ive held and that just goes to show people want information on the future of this endeavour.

We tried our best to provide as much up to date information as possible and answer questions of residents.  There is still some concerns we have and over the next few days I will be diving into the business plan and posting details on my site as I go through it.  Its an important decision to make and we as a council have to be fully informed before we make that decision.

If you would like to review the online version of the report (both links are about 9MB) you can check them out for some light reading 🙂

http://www.milton.ca/MeetingDocuments/Council/agendas2012/rpts2012/Milestone%20005-001-12%20Velodrome.pdf

http://www.milton.ca/MeetingDocuments/Council/agendas2012/rpts2012/Milestone%20005-001-12%20Velodrome_%20Part%20II.pdf

Here is a couple of articles from the Milton Canadian Champion courtesy of Christina Commisso & Matthew Van Dongen of the Hamilton Spectator.

Velodrome Concerns Raised

Make Velodrome A Go

Here is some coverage from CHCH News who came out to the Milton Sports Centre.

Milton STILL has the ball


http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/645715–silent-funder-might-inflate-velodrome-hopes

Silent funder might inflate velodrome hopes

“All I can say is it would be a sizeable help if it comes through,” said Gord Singleton, a former cycling world champion who joined the local velodrome fundraising campaign in the fall.

Singleton said he’s been told not to discuss the source or amount of the mystery money, but Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina said in a radio interview Friday an “interested prospective partner” has surfaced and “several million dollars is being talked about.”

“We’re not out of the game yet in regards to the velodrome,” he said in the interview.

That was news to Milton Councillor Mike Cluett.

Pan Am officials appeared to rule out Hamilton as a velodrome site earlier this month when they announced Milton as the preferred host pending the signing of a funding agreement by Jan. 24.

“Milton will have to decline (the velodrome) before Hamilton would ever be considered,” said Cluett via email. “Mayor Bratina now realizes that with all (council’s) dithering around they lost the opportunity … Hamilton had many opportunities but didn’t get the job done.”

The Spectator couldn’t reach a Pan Am official Tuesday to comment on whether a beefed-up Hamilton bid would be considered.

Hamilton started out as the preferred velodrome location but lost that status in October after Pan Am officials rejected the city’s $5-million offer towards a facility that could cost $45 million.

Milton plans to commit even less taxpayer cash to the facility, but has announced close to $9 million in private pledges from firms and foundations headed by Mattamy Homes president Peter Gilgan.

Singleton said he thought the secret funding boost under discussion locally could “swing the momentum back” to Hamilton, noting the Milton bid and funding sources aren’t finalized.

News of the funding boost had yet to widely circulate at City Hall Tuesday. Several councillors said they were unaware the extra funding had been secured, while others said they weren’t pleased to learn of the project’s resurrection.

“I believe this unaffordable velodrome is an unfortunate expense and cost to the residents of Hamilton,” said Councillor Sam Merulla. “Milton is geographically close enough for Hamilton residents to access without having to spend $5 million.”

The Spectator couldn’t reach Bratina Tuesday for additional information about the mystery funding. His chief of staff, Peggy Chapman, said the mayor wouldn’t be available for an interview until January.

Mark Chamberlain, the chair of the fundraising cabinet, didn’t respond to requests for an interview Tuesday. Vocal campaign cabinet member Andrew Iler wouldn’t confirm or deny the donation report, but said the group hasn’t given up on winning the velodrome and continues to chase donations big and small.

The fundraising cabinet, which includes several high-profile cyclists such as Singleton, Curt Harnett and Clara Hughes, announced earlier this month it had raised more than $1 million through smaller donations.

mvandongen@thespec.com