September 11, 2013 minutes
The Halifax Broadband Committee met at the Town Office on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, called to order at 6:30 p.m. Present were committee members Jessica Bruno, Earl Holtz, and Gretchen Becker.
Approval of Minutes
Holtz made a motion to accept the minutes of the July 10, 2013 Regular Meeting as written. Becker seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Holtz made a motion to accept the minutes of the July 24, 2013 Special Meeting as written. Becker seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
Becker made a motion to accept the minutes of the August 28, 2013 Special Meeting as amended. Holtz seconded the motion, which passed 3-0-0.
VTA Business Broadband Districts
Holtz prepared maps of three possible business districts based on available information about Halifax businesses. The Selectboard agreed to have the Broadband Committee complete the application and send it in. The Broadband Committee discussed and filled out the application. Holtz will add additional details to the typed application and submit the application with the list of contact info for the businesses as required by the application. The application is a request for information about underserved broadband areas which have populations of businesses.
Town Website Grant
Bruno reported that the Snelling Center for Government will be hosting a community forum to get input on the new town website. The tentative date is October 15th at 5:30pm at the town office (before the Selectboard meeting). Anyone interested in submitting input about what they would like to see in their new town website is encouraged to attend.
The Broadband Committee reviewed the town plan sections on economic development. They agreed that for purposes of their projects, they will view economic development as outlined in the town plan.
How to determine if the town wants economic development:
-Bring up a discussion at town meeting
-Questionnaire to fill out at town meeting and on the website
The Broadband Committee discussed what makes Halifax unique:
-Easy to get lost
-Old Fashioned Charm
-Old & unique buildings
The group will brainstorm to come up potentially marketable ideas.
At past meetings the Broadband Committee discussed the possibility of holding a farmers market in town. Becker noted that she attended the market in Wilmington and it was very sparsely attended. She felt that if a town as big as Wilmington can’t attract a crowd, the chances of making it work in Halifax may be slim. Holtz noted that the market would have to offer something unique to attract people. Bruno brought up the idea of holding a festival (apple festival?). Maybe try a one-time event that’s family centered to attract residents and those passing through (bobbing for apples, pie contest etc and have booths for vendors- crafts, produce etc).
Holtz called Ann Manwaring concerning the state holding back funding that is delaying the VTel wireless project in Halifax but has not heard back. Holtz did speak to Caro Thompson at VTA who indicated that it is a federal grant and the state is not involved with that grant at all. Thompson indicated that VTA did pull out of small grants with VTel but Halifax/Whitingham were not involved. It seems that the VTel representative gave us misinformation again.
Holtz reported that the cell phone grant for the 112 corridor is still in the RFP stage.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.