Crews installing the Telus fibre optic network in Chilliwack were given special permission to work Sundays until December 2017.
The staff recommendation was for council to “deny with regret” the Telus request, and to uphold the City of Chilliwack noise bylaw.
But instead, after some debate, council decided to allow the work by Telus subcontractors AFL to go ahead on Sundays, starting this week.
Coun. Jason Lum led the charge, saying it seemed the work they were undertaking was “fairly innocuous” and wouldn’t make much noise.
Deputy director of Engineering Rod Sanderson gave the opposite impression, that the work could sometimes involve “large trucks” like the ones that work on overhead lines.
“They come with traffic control and backup beepers,” so although there may be no excavation, it’s still “very much a work site,” he stressed, with all the expected noise that comes along with that.
Coun. Sam Waddington said he thought council should vote to let them work on Sundays for this temporary project.
“Part of the reason why they are having such a delay is the overwhelming response from residents, and the desire to have these hookups take place to get higher speed internet throughout our community.”
Coun. Sue Attrill noted it’s a “huge” undertaking for Telus.
Coun. Chris Kloot however did not agree that crews should work Sundays.
“I think six days is ample opportunity to get this work done. I believe the citizens are entitled to some peace and quiet on the weekend,” said Kloot. “And as staff says, we can expect other companies to want to be able to follow suit.”
Coun. Kloot was referring to the staff report, which asserted: “Telus is but one of many companies conducting business and installing infrastructure within our rights of way.”
In the end a majority of council voted to allow the work to go ahead on Sundays, with the exception of long weekends. Councillors Chris Kloot and Chuck Stam voted against.