An effort to improve cellphone service in and around Plum Coulee has come farther than ever before.
Bell MTS is proposing to erect a 104-metre guyed tower about 700 metres north of Highway 14 and Road 15 West and is now inviting feedback from the public.
"We've never seen (it get) that far before, so this is encouraging!" said Reeve Don Wiebe.
Residents in the area say there is essentially no service in town and when there is a signal, it isn't reliable in emergency situations.
In a notice sent to property owners within 312 metres of the proposed site, Bell MTS says the quality of service in this area does not currently meet company standards and the needs of people in the neighbourhood.
The notice, shared with PembinaValleyOnline, also indicated that Bell MTS first looked at the possibility of sharing an existing antenna tower located about 12km west in Winkler, however, the company says that tower is too far away to be suitable for site sharing.
Feedback is being accepted until May 20th. From there, Bell MTS must acknowledge receipt of those comments within 14 days. The fifth step of the seven-step process requires the company to address relevant concerns within 60 days. After that, residents have another 21 days to respond. The final step, Approval, calls for a summary of consultation to be shared with the land-use authority and an application to be submitted
"We've lobbied long and hard for this, so we're hopeful that this will be it and that it will proceed," said Wiebe.