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Legislature hears about underserved residents ADVERTISEMENT

Legislature hears about underserved residents

YATES COUNTY--The survey results from the Broadband Aggregation and Adoption (BAAT) campaign were shared with the Yates County Legislature Monday, July 9 in Penn Yan at their regular monthly meeting.
The results were not a surprise for many--broadband internet access within Yates County and other surrounding rural areas is lacking.
The survey was community-based and conducted from October 2017 to April 2018. More than 700 respondents completed the survey in Yates County. Although 84 percent of the population has internet access at their home or business, 49 percent are not able to purchase the speed of broadband service they need.
Survey results also showed residents want faster internet speed for streaming television, movies and music along with ordering products on the internet.
From the survey results for internet access speed, Yates residents report 50 percent of users only receive up to 4 mb/s and 23 percent get 10-25 mb/s.
Price and availability are the two reasons limiting broadband usage.
Legislators were encouraged from the survey information to reach out to existing providers to expand their service area as well as leverage the study data to entice new providers into the area.
Also at the meeting, legislators voted to provide $5,000 to support the Nine Element Watershed Plan for Keuka and Seneca Lake. Geneva is providing overall coordination for the plan and will be seeking funding of more than $300,000 for lake protection and improvements. Legislators also approved $2,600 for stream sampling with the Keuka Lake Association.
A public hearing was also conducted for a Community Development Block Grant application. LaBella Associates (Rochester office) has been asked to coordinate the grant application and then execute the study details. The grant is for $50,000 (with a five percent local match) and will provide information on housing needs and strategies to develop new housing within the county. At least 51 percent of the people who would benefit from implementation of the plan are low or moderate income and/or the plan addresses a blighted area of the community. Kathleen Dear of LaBella Associates said the deadline for the grant application is July 27 and then she would expect to hear by December if the grant has been awarded. LaBella will pursue the application process.
In other business, Legislator Elden Morrison asked the lawmakers to request some financial information from the Yates Chamber of Commerce. Morrison said he would like to see details of the chamber's tourism promotion plan. Morrison said the numbers would be especially timely for the upcoming conversations in August with the chamber regarding the Tourist Promotion Agency (TPA) agreement with the county. Legislators referred the request to the finance and audit committee.

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