August 28, 2013 minutes
The Halifax Broadband Committee met at the Town Office on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, called to order at 6:35 p.m. Present were committee members Jessica Bruno, Earl Holtz, and Gretchen Becker. Members of the public present were Seth Geeslin, Mary Geeslin, Edie Fenton, and Marilyn Allen.
The Committee met to discuss several grant opportunities as well as the designation of broadband improvement districts.
Cultural Facilities Grant
This grant is administered by the VT Arts Council. The grants are intended to help Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities enhance, create or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public. Details can be found here: http://www.vermontartscouncil.org/Portals/0/tabid/97/Default.aspx.
Holtz will contact Joan Courser regarding the Community Center. Fenton felt that the Community Club would be willing to participate.
Prior to preparing an application, interested parties should contact Chris Hadsel (802-863-4938) or Michele Bailey (802-828-3294) to assure that the project is eligible for funding consideration. The application deadline is Spring, 2014.
Historic Preservation Grant
These grants are for municipalities and non-profit organizations to restore historic buildings. Details can be found here: http://accd.vermont.gov/strong_communities/preservation/grants/historic_preservation
The application deadline is Monday October 7, 2013. The contact person is Caitlin Corkins 828-3047 (Caitlin.Corkins@state.vt.us).
The group discussed potential projects in town. This information will be provided to the Union Society Church as well.
Holtz reported that the tower that was to be built on the Crosier property (which was to provide wireless internet service) has been delayed to the second half of 2014 due to funding issues. VTel maintains that 75% of Halifax will get coverage from the two other towers (Whitingham and Hogback Mtn).
Becker made a motion to hold Broadband Committee meetings monthly on the second Wednesday of the month at the town office at 6:30pm. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
VTA Business Broadband Improvement Districts
The VTA has asked municipalities to provide them with business districts in their towns that need improved broadband service. The Committee completed the application response form. Holtz will prepare a map of the districts to be included with the application using known businesses in town. Bruno will post a notice on the website asking any interested business to submit their name, address, phone and email to email@example.com. Bruno will maintain the master list of businesses. Becker will send an email via the unofficial website, and post messages at the town office, post office, and two newspapers. The Committee will designate business districts based on the data compiled. The map will identify where clusters of businesses might be located. Details on the project can be found here: http://www.telecomvt.org/rfp/138.
The Committee will complete the identification of the districts and submit the application by the deadline 9/18/13 pending Selectboard approval.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 p.m.