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!!!
Tim Maylone, CEO of Cherry Capital had an extensive interview with WJR on their “Internet Advisor” podcast. Here is the LINK, but you might want to start at Minute 15:00 for the meat of Tim’s discussion.
By the way, don’t forget the Planning Committee Meeting at Township Hall on December 2, tomorrow at 7:00 PM! Cherry Capital will be there to discuss the zoning.
Cherry Capital Connection, LLC during the feasibility study effort commissioned by the Presque Isle Township Board of Commissioners discovered that current zoning ordinances would prevent the development of a Fixed Point wireless system. This discovery was presented to the Township Supervisor, Township Zoning Administrator, and the Township Planning Commission chairperson.
We have discussed the possibility of designating Cherry Capital Connection, LLC as a public utility providing an essential service. If agreed to then Section 4.14 as worded would allow the construction of additional personal wireless facilities with no zoning approval. Another approach is to update zoning to address many telecommunication changes outlined by the State of Michigan and the updated federal 2012 telecommunication law changes presented under the balanced budget act. Making these changes would provide the possibility of constructing personal wireless facilities.
If section 4.14 is not considered then CCC would still be required to submit a site plan and obtain a special use permit.
Reviewing zoning and addressing possible changes will be addressed at the December 2, 2019 planning commission meeting at 7:00 PM at the Township Hall (the web site has not been updated to reflect this meeting).
Cherry Capital Connection will be in attendance at that meeting and will be providing input to the planning commission. The Personal Wireless facility differs from a cellular tower. The FCC defines personal wireless facilities as a location that uses the equipment on the tower that is essentially the same as the equipment used to receive the signal. This is what CCC does.
Additionally, the FCC OTARD rules that allow property owners to construct masts with no permits to receive telecommunications services to whatever height is required is being updated to allow these sites to be used as repeaters. CCC is a licensed CLEC and provides telecommunication services.
It is unclear how long a delay this will cause to the completion of the current project in Presque Isle. Cherry Capital Connection, LLC feels confident that the process will move forward in a timely manner.
CCC thanks the planning commission chairperson for scheduling a meeting on December 2, 2019, at 7:00 PM at the Township Hall.
Everyone is invited to attend.
Tim Maylone, CEO Cherry Capital Connection, LLC
We have been without Speedconnect Internet service since yesterday late afternoon. The outage is across the entire State and they have no ETA to return service right now. They HAVE told me that anyone who calls and REQUESTS a CREDIT ON THEIR BILL will get one. As soon as the service is back CALL THEM!!! The amount of the credit will be small, but they SHOULD BE MADE TO PAY!