East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber)
December 10, 2019 – Minutes
Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 7:06 p.m.
Irv called the roll and established that a quorum of member towns was present. See attached attendance record for details.
- Introduction of Guests
Chris Recchia (ValleyNet), Stan Williams (ValleyNet), Megan Flemings (ValleyNet), Marty Blumberg (Treasurer), Tim Courts (Chelsea), Andy Behrens (Strafford)
- Changes to Agenda
- Public Comments
- Accept November 12, 2019 Minutes
Motion to accept the minutes of the November 12, 2019 meeting. (M/Graham, S/Karon) – passed
- Financials Update
Stan reports that we are doing well on customer additions and may get close to our 4261 customer projection for the year. Our 2019 closing will be soon, hopefully by December 19. We expect a lower interest rate, somewhere around 4.5%, a 28-year amortization and we have set the amount at $10M. The current planning includes us being done with fiber pass build-out in our “unserved” areas by April 2021.
- Accept the ECFiber 2020 Final Budget.
Stan presented the final budget, which has been updated with the lower interest rate and the addition of interest income as a revenue source. Our models show covenant coverage remaining above 1.41%.
Move to accept the ECFiber 2020 Final Budget as presented. (M/Leavitt, S/Flinn) – passed, unanimously
- Executive Committee Report
Irv reported that the Executive Committee spent time last week considering what to do about filling the Secretary position. Jeff Brand has stepped forward as a candidate.
Motion to elect Jeff Brand as Secretary for the remainder of a one-year term, ending in May 2020. (M/Karon, S/Childs) – passed, unanimously
Irv also issued a plea for someone to step forward to help the Treasurer in the role of Assistant Treasurer.
- Government Relations Update
Irv said the PUC rules for make-ready have been released and many of our requests have been implemented. Dan Leavitt asked what the future of Government Relations might bring now that this effort appears to be coming to a close. Perhaps ECFiber should spearhead the creation of an inter-CUD committee for Government Relations to help bring CUDs together. ECFiber and ValleyNet shouldn’t be alone in this subject. There is the VLCT for towns and the VSBA for schools but what holds CUDs together?
- Construction and Operations Update
Chris reports that we are at about 4200 customers. Installation velocity is the highest ever and we hope to do better yet next year. The winter slump has commenced and we are offering a promotion to accelerate subscriptions before year’s end. Seven railroad crossings in Royalton and Sharon have been a problem for some time and after much iteration, the railroad has finally approved our crossing with 24’ attachments being allowed. They have issued the permits and GMP will refund excess make-ready funds that would have been necessary with higher crossings.
Updated price adjustment information was presented and a letter going out today to customers. He then extended thanks to Board Members for their interactions with prospective and existing customers and introduced Megan Flemings. Megan asked for suggestions on how to better reach customers and said that Members could contact her directly with ideas.
- Old Business
- New Business
Motion to adjourn at 8:52 p.m. (M/Leavitt, S/Webb) – passed
Note: The next Governing Board meeting is January 14, 2019.