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Minutes of Utilities Task Force, 03/03/2016

AGENDA: Utilities Task Force

RECEIVED 03/14/2016 8:30am
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

Minutes

Attending- Karvelis, Clark, Cullman, Higgins, Polio
Leon called the meeting to order at 2 pm

Motion– To approve the minutes of the 2/04/16 meeting.  Polio, Cullman. approved 5-0

Leon described his meeting with State Representative John Shaban to discuss the challenges of motivating Eversource to develop the gas customers in Georgetown. John promised to look into the situation and contact Eversouce to explain their reluctance.

Wes updated the committee on his conversation with Brian Early of Southern Connecticut Gas.   The resistance of Eversource to extend the gas main 1200′ into Georgetown surprised Mr Early, particularly since Eversource had contracted to purchase the gas in 2008 and will eventually need to build the main when the wire mill property is developed. He indicated that it should cost less than $100,000 and he estimated that it would generate sufficient revenue from the commercial customers to meet the company’s break-even rate of return. Mr Early promised to contact Eversource to see if they would permit SCG could become more involved in providing gas service to Redding gas customers.

Susan Clark reported on a meeting regarding high speed internet service that she has arranged between the representatives of Frontier, the Utility Task Force, and town officials to include Julia Pemberton on the 7th of April at Town Hall.  Frontier has recently announced its plan to develop fiber optic service to interested communities in partnership with the local municipal government.

Susan also provided details of a March 23rd conference she intends to attend on the same topic to be hosted by Macquarie and state officials similar in agenda to a conference held in mid-2015 that promoted an alliance to develop 1 gig service based on a partnership between municipalities and Macquarie. It appears that the momentum of those alliances has been lost as several municipalities have withdrawn their interest, and Susan intends to investigate at the conference and report back to the committee her observations.

Also noted was the longer term potential of 5G technology to make fiber optic cable far less interesting to consumers. Expected to arrive as early as 2020, it promises to make wireless data available almost as fast as 1 gig, making fiber optic service almost redundant to households.

 Motion– to adjourn at 2.20 pm. Clark, Cullman   approved 5-0

Submitted by Wes Higgins