Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Minutes - May 16, 2017 (Draft, subject to correction)
Present were Technology Committee members Bill Butler and Brett Jones, Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, and Brian Lippold and Michael Edgecomb of Sewall Company. Committee member Merle Bragdon had e-mailed that he was unable to attend.
Discussion with Sewall Company – Mr. Lippold said his company assists with negotiating franchise agreements with Cable TV companies and also with extension of existing broadband wiring to unserved areas.
Mr. Lippold advised not to sign a proposed franchise agreement with Charter/Spectrum as the town loses some leverage if it does so. He said they had reviewed the proposed franchise agreement and had several areas of concern. He said there is an opportunity before signing to sit down with Spectrum to see how much they might be willing to fund to expand cable to unserved areas. There was a discussion about the amount of potential town investment into cable installation.
Bill inquired what the cost for Sewall’s services might be. Mr. Lippold said their standard charge to renegotiate a contract is $15,000, but they would like to group towns in order to do that. Stu said he believes the town is more interested in the potential public/private partnership to expand cable into unserved areas. He asked if the Sewall representatives were willing to write a proposal to do so, and include the list of potential franchise agreement areas for discussion. Mr. Lippold said that was a possibility. A lengthy discussion followed in regard to the scope of services. Mr. Lippold said they would typically study maps and try to get Charter/Spectrum to supply a map of the served areas in order to develop some sort of proposal. He suggested formation of a broadband committee to advocate for a project if one is developed.
Stu asked what else the Sewall Company would need to generate a proposal. Mr. Edgecomb said they had the information they need. Stu said typically a proposal would go before the technology committee which would then make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.
Stu said that he would contact the town attorney to let him know that the recommendation is to hold off on signing a franchise agreement on the advice of the Sewall company and that they may have suggestions.
Minutes of Previous meetings – The committee took no action, preferring to wait until Merle could be present.
School Update – Stu had reported that Charter still had not supplied the modulator for the school’s PEG channel. He said that he believes a routing switcher that was not included in the Connectivity Point quote is needed to complete the video feed issue, and that he planned to communicate again with the company. The committee had no objection to ordering the switcher, as a fair amount has already been invested into the project.
CTV Operations Manager – Stu reported the Selectmen swiftly appointed Justin Zinke as the CTV operations manager. He said he would be meeting with Mr. Zinke Saturday afternoon to go over the system.
Next Meeting – Bill said the next meeting should be soon at a date that would be acceptable to Merle. Stu noted the board chairs meeting is this Thursday, and it would be good to report on today’s meeting with the group. Bill said he could attend.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:55 AM.
Respectfully submitted,Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.