We have had a lot of activity this week and I wanted to wait until all the meetings were complete before providing a recap. All in all, this was a VERY productive week and we got past many of the legal issues that are required to begin the Wireless Build. One thing we need to make clear is that the Wireless solution is a TEMPORARY solution while the 3 years (estimated) build-out for Fiber takes place. The Wireless that CCC is proposing is NOT like older systems it is a 4G LTE system that is state of the art. MUCH higher speeds and a lot more reliable than either SpeedConnect or Frontier. The goal of Fiber to the Home is the primary reason for putting in the Wireless since two of our other providers are not providing total coverage for all residents, and have substantial financial problems that may affect their service offering in the future. We all feel we need something NOW to get us through.
WEEKS KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Tim Maylone, President of Cherry Capital give a presentation of his plans to bring fiber to the community. This is an expensive process that will be in the millions. He is purchasing new equipment to handle our problematic 5 Ton ‘pebbles’ and is working to make the project go as smoothly as possible. The Wireless ‘bridge’ to fiber ‘should’ be started in May, and completed in June. We can’t give exact dates until all the legal approvals have been completed in Presque Isle and Krakow Township. Everyone is moving as fast as they can but public notice requirements and other issues have to be dealt with according to the standing ordinances. Both Townships are working to get this done quickly and we thank everyone involved.
- After Tim’s presentation to residents, the Board of Trustees met and took several actions to facilitate the project. They are requesting the last $50K from the State Grant immediately, and Tim agreed to provide some materials for them to include as they prepare to approve the release of the money. Also, as the Proof of Concept that is required as part of the grant, there will be a ‘test’ of the system at LaFarge who has agreed to be a customer of CCC. Three members of the relevant Township groups will verify the results. That successful test will release the last of the grant money and get the Wireless ‘bridge’ construction started.
- On Tuesday the Krakow Township’s board met and we discussed the Zoning and Planning areas efforts to get the appropriate approvals in place and we are anticipating that this will be completed by the middle of April. There ‘appear’ to be no real barriers that we see at the moment and the Township has been very supportive of the effort to get the Wireless bridge up in order to quickly move toward Fiber to the Home in the next three years. The Krakow and PI Wireless towers will support each other to provide the redundancy necessary for a very reliable system for both townships.
- On Thursday CCC met with the PIHA Board to seek approval of the two sites on PIHA property for Wireless Towers. One will be at the Campground property, and the other will be at Maintenance Shed Area across from the Clubhouse. Both areas will allow the towers to sit in unused forested areas. In consideration of these leases, CCC will provide service to the Clubhouse and to the Campground at levels that exceed what is currently available. Unfortunately, there was not a ‘quorum’ of the Board members available, and they agreed to hold a special meeting next Wednesday at 7:00 PM to take a vote. We are very hopeful it will be officially approved at that time. We thank Jacob Kroll and the Board of PIHA for their strong interest and support.
The project requires that the ENTIRE COMMUNITY show its support. As soon as we start construction on the Wireless bridge we will do another signup effort at the PIHA Clubhouse. We will keep residents posted as we progress, and if you have questions please use the Contact Page on this site.
On March 9, 2020 (a Monday) at 6:30 pm at the PI township hall community center CCC will be presenting:
How CCC will fund the project and the associated timeline
The High-level design components,
Which includes improving 10 Fiber distribution centers capable of serving the first 800 households
Interconnecting the distribution centers with fiber,
Constructing fiber to interconnect with the Reach-3MC network
Connecting your location to the internet
After this presentation at 7:00 pm during the PI Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, we will be asking the PI BOT members to approve our Proof of Concept.
Cherry Capital Connection will be presenting its plans for BOTH Krakow and Presque Isle Township. Their presentation will include plans for the Wireless ‘Bridge’ that will be up in early spring and the road map to full Fiber to The Home. KRAKOW TOWNSHIP residents need to SIGN UP so that the entire township can be mapped out for fiber and fully serviced with wireless. YOUR TOWNSHIP IS NOW THE FOCUS, and the two townships will provide redundancy for each other!!!
You will be able to ask questions and hear the plans outlined on the big screen TV. We will be in the Gym at the Presque Isle Township Hall so that we can accommodate the crowd that we expect.
After the meeting in the Gym, the regular Township Board of Trustees Meeting will take place at 7:00 PM and ‘hopefully’ they will approve the overview of the plan and release the last half of the ‘grant’ to CCC. We still will have to get the plans approved by the Zoning Administrator and negotiate agreements with PIHA, PI Township, and other landowners in both townships who have expressed a willingness to have the wireless towers on their property. We will have a much better handle on this by the time of the March 9the meeting. I want to be sure to say that EVERYONE involved has been working diligently to get this project done as quickly as possible, BUT no one wants to take a shortcut that could cause a problem down the line. Yes, there have been delays BUT you can’t score a home run by skipping the bases. THIS PROJECT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!
Be sure to tell your neighbors, especially in Krakow Township (where I live BTW) so we can get a good idea of where the interest in Fiber and the Wireless ‘Bridge’ exists. That makes planning a lot more accurate and assures that your neighborhood is one of the first to be serviced.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!
SEE YOU MARCH 9TH AT 6:30PM!!!
Presque Isle Township Hall
NOTE: My summaries of Township meetings are NOT official. They are meant to be general recaps of the meetings and are provided by me in good faith. BUT, attending Township meetings is actually quite revealing and is, in my humble opinion, a good way to assure yourself that your Township Boards are operating in the interests of the residents. By my experience, you are being taken care of well. Consider showing up from time to time if you want to see local government in action.
A meeting was held tonight at the Township Hall. We had a good discussion about Cherry Capital’s efforts in the area. The Board approved a Resolution in support of CCC’s efforts to bring REAL High-Speed Internet to our area. This resolution will be used to assist CCC is being considered for Federal Funding for Rural Internet. This funding has just recently been passed. CCC would like to do more areas than ours and this funding would be helpful in expanding their efforts. Although it is not necessary for our project it would be GREAT to have some of that money flow into our area. The vote was unanimous and we thank them for their support.
Cherry Capital will be working with the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board to locate and receive approvals for the Towers that will be used as a ‘bridge’ to the Fiber to The Home buildout. There are many locations to select from, and many have come forward to offer their property as locations for the towers. The towers are a bridge so they are only going to be up three years, but they will provide needed service to areas that have nothing or ‘next to’ nothing in terms of reliable Internet service.
A heartening level of support from everyone on the Board and the audience. THANKS!
PRESQUE ISLE TOWNSHIP
On Monday of this week, the PI Township Board unanimously approved the changes to the Zoning Ordinances that will allow Cherry Capital to put up the temporary towers required to provide Wireless Internet as a ‘bridge’ to the Fiber to The Home project that will begin this spring. This was made possible by the efforts of the Planning Commission who held two special meetings and with the assistance of their outside counsel and a representative of NEMCOG who is assisting the Planning Commission in updating our existing ordinances. We want to thank everyone who supported this process. You all made a difference!
The approval of the changes to our Zoning Ordinances clears the way for CCC to create a site plan, AND to use ‘existing’ towers already located in the Township as repeaters to serve the ENTIRE Township. The site plans are still subject to approval by the Zoning Administrator. This entire process is there for YOUR protection! No one is more anxious than me (or CCC) to get this project on the road to completion. BUT, you have to consider that if we bypass the law or stray too far from existing standards without real deliberation and a vote of the Board of Trustees we are setting dangerous precedents. Although this took us a few weeks, it is now a project that will be good for everyone now, but protects the process for other projects that may occur in the future. THANKS to everyone for working hard to make this happen!
WE WILL KEEP YOU ALL POSTED AS EVENTS UNFOLD!
Monday Presque Isle Township planners working with their attorney and a senior planner from NEMCOG approved language changes to the existing ordinances affecting wireless towers and repeaters. One specific change allows the use of ‘existing’ towers to be used as repeaters so construction of new towers is held to the minimum. These changes and others removed the barriers that prevented expanding wireless high-speed internet access throughout the township. PI county planners and PI township Board of Trustees must approve these language changes before they become law. Planners also approved forwarding Cherry Capital’s proposed language changes along to the Township Board of Trustees for consideration before finalizing the changes to the zoning ordinances. This enables the BOT to consider these additional changes prior to final approval at their discretion. In any case, CCC can now confidently begin the work to obtain access to existing vertical assets and acquire access to new tower sites. The entire site plan will still have to be approved by the Zoning Administrator before implementation. These very positive results allow solid solutions to be included in the feasibility study and moving forward the process of putting up the temporary Wireless Broadband bridge that will provide reliable and affordable broadband to Presque Isle and Krakow Township while the Fiber to The Home construction is being completed. The EXACT timing of any of this is still subject to Township review, so a specific date for implementation is not available at this time. As SOON as we have an exact date we will let you know.
The next meeting on this matter will occur on Monday, January 13th at 7pm at the Presque Isle Township Board of Trustees meeting at the PI Township Hall.
Thanks to everyone on the Planning Commission, the Board of Trustees, and especially the RESIDENTS who have supported this project!
IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO PLEASE SIGN UP NOW!
This is my opinion only and was not discussed or cleared with CCC or anyone else. I have no reliable Internet, weak cell service, and no landline where I live. For me personally, it has become UNACCEPTABLE to live here anymore! If we had an emergency we might well have to send up smoke signals! Both Townships require more, and supporting CCC is a way to avoid the uncertainty of a Frontier Bankruptcy with a stock price that has fallen to less than a ‘dollar a share’, and SpeedConnect‘s new owner whose stock trades for UNDER A PENNY! Neither of these companies will EVER get us to true Fiber to The Home either. Please help me get the message out to the community and to our elected officials. If we can’t show CCC that we are IN this fight with them, then we risk even further delays. Wireless can be up QUICKLY (weeks, not years) if we act now, and the commitment and revenues from the ‘bridge’ wireless installation help to fund the Fiber to The Home project for CCC and show the communities commitment!
Krakow Township Update:
Discussions were had in the last meeting of the Board of Supervisors and there was a strong interest in working with Cherry Capital Communications to create a ‘wireless bridge’ and lay Fiber To The Home to the township. It appears that we can have a real discussion with Cherry Capital at the next Planning Commission meeting in February. There are already several landowners who are willing to have towers erected on their property. We NEED folks in Krakow Township to SIGN UP and to communicate with their elected officials about the NEED for ‘real’ High-Speed Internet! WE FEEL WE HAVE REAL SUPPORT IN KRAKOW FROM THE BOARD AND FROM THE COMMUNITY! HERE IS THE DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING, AND YOU CAN COME AND INDICATE YOUR SUPPORT there, I will be present to answer questions and take sign up sheets.
January 14th at 7:00 PM BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING at Township Hall
PRESQUE ISLE TOWNSHIP UPDATE:
The PI Planning Commission is meeting on January 6th at 7:00 PM to discuss changes in Zoning Ordinances that would allow CCC to put up the wireless Internet towers that would provide service to the ENTIRE community while they lay the Fiber to The Home infrastructure. We had ‘hoped’ to have the wireless service up by Christmas, but that has been delayed pending this review. PLEASE ATTEND THE MEETING IF YOU ARE IN THIS AREA! If you cannot attend CALL the Township Hall (989-595-2752) and let them know that you consider “High-Speed Internet to be an ESSENTIAL SERVICE” to the community!
PLEASE HELP US GET THIS PROJECT OVER THE TOP!
Last night there was a productive meeting of the PI Township Planning Commission. Tim Maylone from Cherry Capital Communications discussed with the members the issues that were uncovered in the Zoning Ordinances. The language currently would impede the erection and/or use of existing towers for a Wireless Internet solution as a ‘bridge’ to Fiber to the Home. The planning commission came to the meeting with concrete suggestions to change the sections in question and agreed to handle this issue ‘expeditiously’ so as to minimize the impact on the project completion. A draft of the proposed changes will be taken up at a public meeting of the Planning Commission in January. As soon as the approved draft is published on the Township website we will provide everyone the link (anticipated this week). Once the final language is approved by the Planning Commission it will be sent to the County for a short review, and then scheduled for review at the February meeting of the Township Board of Trustees. It is important for everyone concerned that this is done correctly.
A big thank you to the Planning Commission for handling this on a ‘fast track’ basis, but you should be assured that they have hired an attorney and an outside consultant so that these changes are done RIGHT! These changes are not being done just for CCC, but for others as well that may appear in the future, so everyone wants to avoid any unintended consequences. This does present a short delay prior to construction, but CCC is working to complete their site plan and be prepared to meet all the new guidelines set by the commission as soon as the changes to the ordinance are passed.
THERE WILL BE A MEETING OF THE MEN’S CLUB, AT THE PIHA CLUBHOUSE THIS THURSDAY AT 11:00 AM! Tim Maylone, CEO of Cherry Capital Communications will be there, and donuts will be served. Use the Contact Link on this site to RSVP, or just show up!!!