East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber)
August 13, 2019 – Minutes
Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 7:10 p.m.
Irv called the roll and established that a quorum of member towns was present. See attached attendance record for details.
2. Introduction of Guests
Chris Recchia (ValleyNet MD), Marty Blumberg (ECFiber Treasurer), Timothy O’Dell (Corinth), Tim Courts (Chelsea), Bob Brannan (Chelsea) Andy Behrens (Strafford), Delsie Hoyt (West Fairlee), Dick Dybvig (Tunbridge)
3. Changes to Agenda
Irv asked to take up Tunbridge Fair Planning first to accommodate Chris Recchia who was still at another meeting.
4. Public Comments
Delsie Hoyt of West Fairlee gave a brief statement about that town’s interest in becoming an ECFiber member town.
5. Accept July 9, 2019 Minutes
Motion to accept the minutes of July 9, 2019 meeting. (M/Graham S/Webb) – passed
6. Executive Committee Report
Skipped so we can get directly to the next items.
7. 2Q2019 Financials Summary
Stan provided an overview of the financials and reported that we have not built as many miles nor
installed as many customers as projected and that we will need to continue to add about 300 customers per quarter going forward to maintain adequate debt service coverage. The option of a rate increase next year was also presented and discussed at length by the Board.
8. Government Relations Update
No action taken.
9. Construction and Operations Update
Chris Recchia reported that our phone service take rate is 56.4% of our customer base. We have resolved many of our phone problems but we are still working towards resolution of an issue that stems from our provider having made back-end changes without our knowledge and that has resulted in neither us nor them being able to properly manage existing service settings.
Stockbridge is now lit and hub locations have been determined for Bethel, Randolph and Reading. We met with CCI today about make-ready costs which have increased significantly since they sold their poles to GMP and are no longer bound to the same tariffs.
We are responding to the PUC about telephone battery backup requirements. The basic rule is that we must provide 8 hours of backup ability and we must have a 24-hour backup option available. We will also be looking at battery monitoring to assure that all equipment is functioning adequately.
10. Communications Committee Update (Tunbridge Fair Planning)
Irv reported that the booth for the Tunbridge Fair is reserved and paid for and that we are actively looking for volunteers. Dave Karon summarized some of our previous public events and explained that one of the major benefits of these is to increase our visibility among the public. We are expecting good attendance this year primarily because of our build activity in Sharon, Royalton and Tunbridge and plans to build in Chelsea soon. The fair opens early on Thursday and Friday but 9AM starts should work well for our booth. A Google Sheets link will be sent to the Governing Board email list and members should sign up directly on that sheet or communicate with Dave directly if they prefer.
Betty reported on having a booth at the Rochester Farmer’s Market. It was a pretty low profile presence and a tent would certainly have helped in that regard. Chris said we will have a tent ready in time for the Tunbridge Fair.
11. Old Business
12. New Business
Motion to adjourn at 9:04 p.m. (M/Karon, S/Brand) – passed
Note: The next Governing Board meeting is September 10, 2019