TOWN OF PEACHAM
SELECTBOARD AND PLANNING COMMISSION JOINT MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday December 13th, 2016 6:30PM
Selectboard: Annette Lorraine
Planning Commission: Geoff Sewake, Marilyn Magnus, Rene Joly, Melissa Laurita Kohl
Clerk to the Board: Melissa Laurita Kohl
Public: Clay Purvis, Mike Bruton, Brian Barney, Jock Gill, Rose Nunn, Samantha Gaertner, Larry Jensen, Rick Scholes, and 20 others.
The Selectboard would like to thank Mike Heath and Kingdom Crust Co for the generous donation of pizza for this meeting.
The meeting was called to order by Selectboard Chair Annette Lorraine at 7:17 PM.
- There are no additions to the agenda.
- Annette introduced Geoff Sewake, Chair of the Planning Commission. He let everyone know that his mantra is outreach and feedback from the community during this town plan process. His plan is to not incorporate personal bias but to represent the community. Broadband is one of those issues that the Planning Commission would like feedback on.
- Annette introduced Clay Purvis, the Connectivity Development Manager for the State of Vermont.
- Clay passed out a handout to the audience with information about Peacham’s current state of broadband access. Clay spoke at length about the ins and outs of broadband service and the State of Vermont and he fielded questions from the audience. Highlights are below.
- Clay said that the State did some mapping of Peacham and there are 557 locations in Peacham that are listed in the database - 163 locations have access to 25 down, 3 up, which is the federal standard for broadband. 154 have something between 4 down 1 up and 25 down 3 up. 240 addresses have something less than 4 down 1 upl.
- There are a couple of projects going on that will impact Peacham. VTEL WOW project is a thoroughly funded wireless project. They are deploying statewide 4ge territory. He brought a VTEL wireless router and there was 2 down 3 up here in the library. They were planning on building a tower in Cabot but had to move it. If they do that there should be service coming into the western part of Peacham.
- Second major project is the Connect America Fund - the largest statewide investment in broadband to date - 50 mill over 6 years given to fairpoint. A program run through the Universal Service Fund. Expected to bring 10 down 1 up to 24,000 addressses statewide - they also have a designated territory - in Peacham that includes 330 addresses including mostly the 240 under 4/1 and mostly avoiding where cable is available. But there are 33,000 addresses that need it within their territory so will not do all of it. What we have been encouraging towns to do is to speak with fairpoint, let them know that you are interested and see if they will do a project here. If not, they provide a statewide grant program to support additional projects. The other solution for north on Bayley Hazen would be the extension of cable - if you request video service, they will extend it (legally have to it) but there is a fee and tariff and it’s based on the number of addresses. About $30,000 a mile and the tariff determines how that’s born between addresses and service provider. Did a project on Oneida Rd in Danville that was 11 addressses - cost about $24,000 - partially funded by addresses - $100 per person - and then was grant awarded though that program is not available anymore.
- They do fund - they do not expect any match from the recipient. The cost is born by state and service provider. There are two Fairpoint companies in Vermont - he explained difference.
- For Peacham, it seems like the best route is to talk with providers and Clay would be happy to set that up with the Planning Commission or Selectboard to see what projects are available.
- If the town has the ability to raise or commit any money, the provider then comes to seek a grant from the community initiative it makes it much more attractive for the grant.
- Brian said that he is a manager for Fairpoint but is speaking as a citizen of Peacham right now. Currently under caf 2 we are building on the backside of Peacham Pond and Martins pOnd sites - Peacham Pond in the next couple of months, Martin Pond by June-ish. On drawing borde for future - two sites being debated. We have hit 2 yerar milestone in first year so looking more for capital funding from Fairpoint itself. If successful would be looking at far end of Bayley Hazen Rd or Thaddeus Stevens Rd. Would have at least 25 up 3 down most likely.
- Annette thanked Clay for his time.
Geoff moves to adjourn at 8:40pm. Melissa seconds. So moved.