July 10, 2013 Minutes
The Halifax Broadband Committee meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at the Halifax Town Office. Present were committee members Earl Holtz, Curtis Carroll, Gretchen Becker, and Jessica Bruno.
Approval of Minutes
Holtz made a motion to approve the minutes of the 5/8/13 regular meeting as written. Carroll seconded the motion, which passed 4-0-0.
Holtz made a motion to approve the minutes of the 6/26/13 special meeting as written. Bruno seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-1 (Carroll abstained as he was not present).
Update on VTel and Fairpoint Entry into Town
Becker called Fairpoint regarding Internet status at her residence. The Fairpoint representative explained that she should be getting service in 2013 but that some people may not get service until 2014. It was noted that the northeast corner of Halifax should now have DSL service through Fairpoint. It was also noted that a box has appeared on the Rte 112/Hubbard Hill intersection.
Holtz reported that Larry Crosier has signed a contract with VTel and they are in the process of doing something on his property which will enable 4G wireless service for parts of town. He believes they will be installing an 80’ radio mast on his property.
Holtz reported that he was told that the VTA grant representatives will be going out for request for proposals in August. He reminded VTA to talk with Sharon Combes-Farr so that the hotspot grants are coordinated.
Bruno reported that she has a web meeting with Tess from the Snelling Center next week for an update and website planning.
Carroll reported that fiber has been hooked up to the Wilmington high school but Sovernet needed an extension for the other towns which was granted until 8/15/13 (for Halifax, Readsboro, Whitingham, and Stamford).
Future of the Broadband Committee
It was agreed that since we are still working through several grants, the Broadband Committee will keep meeting every other month. We will re-evaluate in December.
The committee discussed potentially adding economic development strategy and implementation to our list of objectives. The group had a discussion about economic development related to home based businesses, educational opportunities, and opportunities for the community after we set up our hotspots in town.
Becker made a motion to change the mission of the Broadband Committee to include economic development implementation along with broadband, cell service and website tasks. Carroll seconded the motion, which passed, 4-0-0.
Bruno will present the idea to the Selectboard for approval. If approved, we will discuss with the Planning Commission.
Carroll asked that a link to the VTel WOW map be put on the town website. Bruno will add it to the Broadband Committee page. She will also try to print a small color map for the bulletin board.
Hearing of Visitors
The meeting was adjourned at 7:37pm.