The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in Special Session on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.
Present: Commissioners Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Jesse Knoll, Richard Timmer, Don McLean, Jim Moore and Chairman Scott Shackleton
Also Present: Don Nelson, Mike Patrick, Tim McKee, 9-1-1 Director, Dave Pietrangelo, Steve Mason, Brian Bartlett, IT Dept., Jennie Pierce, IT Dept., Rikki Timmer, Tim Mayloe, Cherry Capital Connection, Walter Walsh, Jim German, Administrator, and Diane Cork, County Clerk
PUBLIC COMMENTS: None
NEW BUSINESS: Broadband Project
The purpose of the meeting was to receive a presentation by Tim Mayloe, Cherry Capital Connection, out of Elk Rapids, MI.
Mr. Mayloe, explained that the American Recovery Act allocated 7.2 billon in funds to help assist in bringing broadband to under served areas in the U.S. Cherry Capital invests in the infrastructure needs of areas in need of broadband services.
He continued explaining that the process under the Act is based on points in the application process with round one already in progress.
Round 2 is in the beginning stages and Chippewa could save money by having Chippewa and Mackinac Counties applying together. (discount of about $5,000) The County would own the application. The data base would have to be completed by mid December; application by mid January and the project would start about spring of 2010. Mr. Mayloe stated that this project could employ 100 plus jobs in the area. The Stimulus Grant is specifically for capital for hardware and labor.
hairman Shackleton asked if the intent of the project is to have a wireless high speed internet service that covers all of Chippewa County and was concerned with competition with other providers.
Mr. Mayloe responded by saying that for the first two years, only the under served areas will be effected, after 2 years, you can expand into other areas.
Mr. Mayloe said his company would build the infrastructure and in time other providers can utilize it at a lesser cost.
Commissioner Knoll spoke about the service he has had past and present and doesn’t think it is sufficient where he lives and it is expensive. He is in favor of the broadband.
Commissioner Cooper spoke of job creation and expressed his belief that this is economic development.
Discussion was held on stimulus money being offered again, the amount of possible money for Chippewa County, open access network, a leadership team that would work with Cherry Capital Connections and the operational agreement ($40,000).
Steve Mason, Lighthouse.net, stated that an application had already been submitted for the area by Cloverland Electric and was not economically feasible, plus there are liability issues. He was not in favor of the County using tax payer dollars for profit.
Tim McKee, 9-1-1 Director, would like to see the ability for police vehicles and fire trucks to have real time on vehicle computers in rural areas.
Wally Walsh, Nodan Communications, competes in the same market and believes in the process and the need. He sees this as an opportunity to expand his business.
Dave Pietrangelo, Health Dept., stated that outreach nurses are under served in some areas.
Commissioner McLean thought the Commission should look at the benefits; Commissioner Postula expressed that he didn’t think a lot of people would use the service in his district, it was a waste of money and perhaps a survey should be done. Commissioner Cooper didn’t think is was a wise decision.
It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner McLean, to proceed with the project with Cherry Capital Connections with a dollar figure not to exceed $40,000. On a voice vote, the motion failed with Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Moore and Shackleton voting no.
Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously and the Board did adjourn at 5:35 p.m.
Diane S. Cork, Clerk
Scott Shackleton, Chairman