Town Manager’s Update
April 5, 2013
There are a couple of important issues I want to focus on with this update; NH FastRoads and a change in our trash/recycling operations.
Let me start with NH FastRoads. We are getting closer every day to going live and lighting the fiber. There are a couple reasons for the delays, primarily though it has to do with utility pole attachment/licenses. In order for NH FastRoads to string our fiber, they first have to be granted a pole attachment license by the owner of the pole. The poles are either owned by an electric utility, we have three different providers in Enfield, Liberty (aka Granite State), NH Co-OP, and PSNH, or a telecommunication utility, Fairpoint. The licensing process can take 90 days and is governed by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. We have several hundred poles just in Enfield that need licenses, and several thousand in the NH FastRoads/Network NH Now project areas. Just because we are granted a license does not mean that we can install our fiber right away, we first need to make sure that there is room for our fiber. The pole attachment or make ready work can take 150 days to complete. Every line that is attached to the pole needs to be reviewed to determine if it does need to be moved, and if there is no more room, another (larger) utility pole needs to be installed. In some of our service area, there is plenty of room on the poles because the only wires are for electricity and telephone, with maybe another wire. Other poles though do carry quite a few existing lines, and each of those firms has 150 days to move their lines, or ask for an extension. The good news is that Waveguide will be in Enfield for the next 5-6 weeks installing over 26 miles of fiber. I attended a NH FastRoads Board of Director’s meeting this morning and they are very close to announcing three internet service providers that will be offering service in Enfield. I have heard from residents that companies are already calling homes in the service area. I want to thank everyone in the service area for their patience and understanding. When this fiber is installed and over 1/3rd of our community is connected with this fiber, Enfield is going to benefit is ways we cannot yet imagine.
I have mentioned previously that the Selectboard is supportive of investigating and implementing ways in which we can reduce our costs regarding solid waste pick-up and disposal. We spend close to $450,000 annually to pay for our solid waste operations. That $450,000 covers personnel, solid waste pick-up and disposal, with pick-up and disposal comprising 80% of that total. The Selectboard has been presented with several solid waste operations options (please review the Selectboard minutes of 10-15-2012 for a review of the materials presented and discussion) The choice they felt that offered the Town the best opportunity to reduce our costs and still maintain an excellent level of service was to offer both curb side trash and zero-sort recycling pick-up at the same time, however the pick-up would be every other week. Each residence would receive a container for trash and a separate container for recyclables. The recycling container will be a zero-sort container, meaning that all of the recyclables can go into one container. That includes all the plastics, papers, metals and glass. Jim Taylor and I met with representatives from Casella (N.E.Waste) regarding this new program this week to discuss how to best implement these changes. We, the Town, plan on sending out a notice to all residents announcing more specifics. The goal is to have this program start in July 2013. Casella will also be sending out multiple mailers regarding container ordering and pick-up, and specifics on what is to go into each container. Residents will have a choice on container size and we will have them at Whitney Hall and the Transfer Station for closer inspection before you make your choice. One thing that is not changing is the hours at the Transfer Station. We realize that changing from an every week pick-up for trash to every other week pick-up may cause a few hiccups, so we will keep our Transfer Station hours status quo. Many of our neighboring communities have gone to every other week pick-up and have noticed increased recycling rates and much lower disposal costs. We are committed to making this as smooth a transition as possible and welcome any and all feedback. Stay tuned for much more information.
Thanks and have a great week! ps – as many of you know I am from Syracuse NY and so, I will be rooting enthusiastically for my Orange this Saturday night as they play Michigan in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament – GO ORANGE ;)