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Yates will utilize $2.4M cable grant

YATES COUNTY—The Yates County finance committee announced they had received a fiber optics grant totaling $2.4 million from the Connect N.Y. Broadband Grant Program during their committee meeting Tuesday, March 5. County Planner Shawna Bonshak said the dark fiber grant will allow Yates County to connect with nearby Schuyler, Steuben and Ontario Counties and will allow them to transmit information between counties.
“Something is finally going right,” said County Administrator Sarah Purdy. “It is a big boost for us to bring further economic development to the county.”
Fiber optics is a transparent, flexible fiber used to transmit light between two ends of the fiber. Doing so allows for long-range communications purposes with greater bandwidths than metal cable wire. Purdy said having this grant means there will be a greater incentive for businesses who wish to move into Yates County.
Bonshak said it will be open to any entity to use or provide services to support the proliferation of broadband technologies and services. She said it is meant to complement existing carrier infrastructure in order to not devalue the existing investments. Bonshak said construction is expected to begin on installing the 68 mile optical fiber backbone in June, which will take 24 months to complete.
In other business:
• Yates Chairman Taylor Fitch discussed the future of a citizens advisory committee, saying he has met with Steve Marchionda and discussed the study he is conducting on the Yates County budget, but has not met with any other member of his group. Committee Chairman Tim Dennis said he did not believe there was a willingness by anybody to discuss mission statements and timeframes for such a group. Fitch said he assumes when Marchionda has his info gathered he will present his findings to the legislature.
• Bonshak said there was a meeting about the jurisdictional infrastructure agreement for the Penn Yan Marine site, saying the county has agreed to contribute 43.6 percent of the infrastructure costs. She said the village has agreed to 30.4 percent, the school agreed to 21.1 and the town of Milo agreed to 3 percent contributions on the project.
• Bonshak said the county needs to get moving on applying for a brownfield cleanup program for the Penn Yan Marine site, which has a deadline of 2015. She said it takes months to get into the program, and site developer Chris Iversen said he wants the tax credits that come with the cleanup project, but is hesitant to act until the developer agreement is reached. Purdy said the county would rather have Iversen do the cleanup, but it is best to get the process started now before time runs out.
• The committee agreed to give all departments until June to come up with a realistic view of how their department would run with cuts to their budget in 2014. Purdy said it would be hard to get good results by the initial April deadline, so the committee agreed to give each department an extra two months to conduct their analysis.





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