FALMOUTH EDIC OPEN MEETING: Mar 14, 2017
Town Hall, Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Michael Galasso (C), Christopher Langlais (T), Susan Moran, Jim Fox, Brooks Bartlett, Christopher Land
Chris Simmler (C)
CALL TO ORDER
Having established a quorum, the chairman called the meeting to order.
The chairman asked if there was anyone that would like to speak to the board about anything that was not on the agenda. None come forward.
Leslie Richardson from the Cape Cod Commission was postponed until the next Board Meeting on April 11, to speak about the Davis Straits Area Study.
Steve Johnston from Open Cape (http://www.opencape.org). Johnston communicates the following key points:
- Steve was here last about a year ago, when he first joined Open Cape.
- A lot of activity in Falmouth in the program during the last year.
- Formed a partnership with Cape Net - charged to sell the fiber to businesses/towns/etc. and maintain the network. This did not work out and relationship terminated Sept. 30, 2016.
- Now Open Cape is sole owner and operator. This will allow them greater focus on their mission and control of expenses.
- Steve advised they recruited two excellent people from Cape Net, and plan on expanding staff.
- Brought on 17 new organizations in the last 3 1/2 months. It’s really positive news for the Cape.
- Watching the Crowd Fiber Tools at the end of July. It did very well, though promotion of it was downplayed due to the Cape Net transition. Plan to re-launch it soon for the spring to push the number of participants up. Some towns took and ran with it, others a little less. The intention is to help towns to promote/market it this year. Open Cape plans to visit neighborhood by neighborhood to talk about their needs and how Open Cape can meet those needs.
- One challenge they have is cost. They cannot keep the excess money from their Grant. Working hard with towns to help them understand what it will take to connect. The more condensed areas/towns will realize a greater efficiency with cost as compared to Falmouth as is has a greater land mass and less dense population.
- Working with the State regarding connectivity in Western MA. The State has 250M for MBI. MBI is focused solely on Western Ma., but Johnston feels it would be better spent on the Cape. The Cape and Islands are being left behind in terms of funding. Johnston is continuing to bring it up as a topic of conversation with MBI. The State’s agreement is Unserved vs. Underserved. Some areas of Western Ma. have no service or very little. Johnston argued that the Cape experiences some degree of this. Some seed funding will help get some people hooked up.
- In Falmouth, their fiber runs to WHOI then stops. Expanding from WHOI down Woods Hole Road into Woods Hole proper. New fiber is being installed at WHOI. WHOI currently provides internet service connectivity to many Woods Hole businesses. This will end.
- There is lot of interest by local Falmouth businesses (large and small) and town municipalities.
- Open Cape is operating at a financial deficient right now, working to improve this.
- Talking with Falmouth IT to expand municipal buildings service.
- New as of April 2017, the State to be opening ITT 46 Contract – the Broadband Services Contract. Johnston has been lobbying them to open it early, so Open Cape can submit and be included in the state contract. If approved, which they expect it to be, their pricing will be included on the state contract. This means that if a town/municipality wants to buy from Open Cape an RFP will not be required – it will be easy and simple.
- Working to help towns get a better sense of what it will cost to hook up service for everyone. Falmouth has 21,843 homes. National average to hook up a home $2,000 per home. Again, it will vary by community density. Falmouth is about 55-60 homes per square mile. It will cost approximately $43M to connect everyone.
- Open Cape is looking for test beds…MDU’s or greenfield construction…to hook up 30-50 homes. It will become a marketing opportunity.
- Approached by several Home Owner Associations that want to be connected.
- Connectivity is important to economic development and to a community’s success and satisfaction with service.
- Current providers are not updating legacy systems. They are more focused on dense urban populations.
- Fiber rarely goes down, as compared to other providers.
- Johnston is speaking at Science on the Street at CCCC on March 18th.
- Open Cape will provide sample framework/ information packets to towns and the EDIC i.e. operational logistics and costs.
- It would be possible to share connection activity with the towns mapping systems via Google Earth TMZ.
- It’s very effective to include conduit installation when digging trenches in roads for water etc. It will drive cost down to $800 per home (from $2,000).
- Monthly home costs are estimated at: $55-$75 – for fast speed internet, without video.
- No residential homes are connected at this point.
- Can deliver any speed from 20 megabits to 10 gigabits.
- The Proud Father Survey is still in progress. 2,000 responses to date. Plans to further promote, as they would like participation of 10,000. Johnston to send the electronic press kit to share with town departments.
- Moran advised that there is a committee to work on this project for Falmouth – the Cable Advisory Board. Galasso stated that he believes that both Technical Parks in Falmouth should be connected to this service; it should be a top priority. Johnston to check to see if fiber has been run into this area, and will provide a ball park cost to connect the businesses there. Brooks Bartlett is Chairman of the sub-committee on this subject. The Board feels it is important to economic development and wants to be involved with growing this service in our community.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: FALMOUTH STATION
- A little over halfway completed. Moving very quickly now. New windows are being put in, framing is completed, drywall, rough electrical and plumbing is in. There has been a number of inspections in the last few weeks. Spent a good portion of the contingency to improve the interior of the building – to make it more historically significant. Scheduled completion date is May 18th. Peter Pan should be in shortly after Memorial Day. Many little things to be done after main construction of the building is completed. The lease for Peter Pan has not been done yet; Jim Fox to contact Laura about it. The Certificate of Occupancy will be provided by the State Inspector.
- Christopher Langlais advised the budget is $1.4M. To date requested 7 reimbursements from Mass DOT; 5 have been received in the total of $260K; reimbursement 6 & 7 will be for $340K; reimbursement 8 is another $150K. All totaled spent $580K, and there is $820K remaining in the budget. About halfway thru the budget, as well as the project.
- Barbara Weyand, from the Falmouth Preservation Alliance presented two examples of a historical display of wall hanging(s) 30x40 size, for the Falmouth Station. The product has high durability for public spaces. The theme is to show the railroad spur that came thru the Upper Cape with an emphasis on the Falmouth Station. Open issue - where it is to be placed in the interior, and the Board’s approval to begin. Galasso advised that we cannot specify an exact location at this time due to uncertainly of Occupants space layout. There will be a better sense once the Tenants take possession of their space. Barbara said it will take at least 10 weeks to produce the display(s). The board requested Barbara to price both an inside and outdoor (stand alone) display, for the Board to discuss at the April Board Meeting. Moran made a motion: To approve the Falmouth Preservation Alliance’s donation of the historical display, and that they provide more detailed pricing information based on the display exterior. Brooks Bartlett seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.
- Falmouth Station Citizens Advisory Committee Update – Chris Simmler – Not in attendance. This committee is no longer in existence. A new committee will be created after the Station Project is complete.
- Bikeway / Station Connection Project Update – Chris Simmler – Not in attendance.
LANDFILL SOLAR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Fox advised the Selectmen and the Enterprise have been very helpful. He has a commitment it will be ready April 1st. Was to originally be done Jan 1st. Took a big financial hit due to delay: we will get it back in 25 years at the end of the lease. Hundreds of thousands of dollars lost. Two weeks of permitting left, should be operational around Apr 15th. Locked in at $7.50 per kilowatt is locked in for 10+ years. Savings will be well beyond projections of $700,00. Two ceremonies planned upon opening.
Phase Two Status Update – On hold now, rent and taxes only. Until the State clarifies their plans on tax savings or credits. Most utility based solar projects are stopped at this point.
- Langlais presented the financials as of March 14, 2017. Total assets $1.58M, include $1.165M in real estate, $199K in cash. Liabilities include $112K in AP.
- Warrant – presented for $116,237 includes the AP plus $3,800 previously paid items.
- A motion was made and seconded to approve the warrant. It passed unanimously.
- 2017 Operating Budget shows 8 sources of income. Langlais requested confirmation actual amounts and pay periods. Monthly expenses were also confirmed by project. Budget estimates a net gain of $118K in 2017.
Chris Simmler - not in attendance
- Meeting with Chris Land to discuss fees.
- Going to Pitch Meeting next week in New Bedford, and will have an update after this.
HOUSING DEMAND STUDY UPDATE
Received a report draft from Judy, requesting a peer review from UMass Dartmouth for feedback on the demographic information.
Fox requested that guidelines/policy are defined from the Board and Affordable Housing for what Falmouth would like for a LIP. He suggested a committee be formed, that will make a recommendation to the Planning Board. Developers are now choosing not to do a LIP, to save time. The biggest issue is density; the regulations of 6-8 units per acre is not an incentive for Developers to build.
EDIC ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS
- APPROVE LAST MEETING MINUTES – Not available.
- EDIC – Galasso has not yet written the letter to Frank Duffy.
- Administrator Report – Michael introduced the new Administrator, Lynne Broderick. Lynne provided a brief business background to the board.
CORRESPONDENCE – “In the News”
- Galasso brought up the Liberty Green project article, the 40B Project where the Marriott was to go. Michael contacted the broker to invite the Developer to a Board Meeting, without a response. Galasso feels it is a very important location on E. Main Street. Though the affordable housing element is supported, Galasso feels very strongly that the project proposed is not a very well defined or designed project. Additionally, the Developer is not engaging with the community; not accepting suggestions or meeting with the public; sticking to their plan regardless. The EDIC has the power of imminent domain, to ensure what is developed in Falmouth does not impede future economic development. It is not a position he suggests is taken at this time, but something to keep in mind.
- Jim Fox suggested an executive session, inviting an Attorney to talk about this subject.
Retreat – Galasso advised Gerard Bruno Associates sent information that needs to be put together for presentation to the board.
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
- An executive session – Liberty Green Project
- Presenter Cover Sheet
- Retreat Update – Gerard Bruno Associates
- Leslie Richardson – Cape Cod Commission
A motion was made by the chairman to adjourn the regular session meeting. It was seconded and unanimously approved.
April 18, 2017, 8:30am
Falmouth Station Restoration
Rehabilitation of the Historic Falmouth Station located at 59 Depot Avenue in Falmouth.
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