At the Board meeting on February 4, 2017 in Becket, the WiredWest Board passed two resolutions for approval by member town Select Boards. These resolutions were already forwarded to delegates who were in attendance at the meeting. If you were not in attendance, the intention is for you to present these to your Selectboard at a time you feel is appropriate.
The first resolution is a commitment by each member town to move forward with the Regional Operations Solution adopted by the board in January and presented at the workshop in Northampton on January 28, 2017. As we finalize negotiations and prepare to contract with a service provider, we need to demonstrate that there is a commitment to a regional solution and that each member town recognizes that there are shared risks and strengths in doing that. To put it simply, we’ll need to know which towns are in and which are not.
We understand that each town is at a different stage in this process. Some have already passed the first resolution and are fully committed to our regional operation model. Others are still weighing their options. The WiredWest Executive Committee is prepared to come to your town to present the WiredWest Regional Solution in detail and to answer questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. While we haven’t established a firm deadline for when towns will need to commit, we expect to discuss this at our next board meeting on February 25th.
The second resolution addresses the changes in MBI policy regarding design, engineering, professional services and construction that have been alluded to in the press and in recent communications from Peter Larkin. As a result of the responses to the MBI Private Provider RFP, we believe that the response from Westfield Gas & Electric has presented towns with a path forward to design, engineer and manage construction of their town owned networks. WiredWest has begun negotiations with WG&E to do that on behalf of our member towns. The resolution is meant to be a statement by your town of that intention. In addition, it requests that the full allocation of funds appropriated and not just the construction portion be made available to your town for that purpose. Interestingly, at the MBI RFP response hearing held in Worthington on February 16th, that message was delivered almost universally by every person that spoke.
RESOLVED: The Board of Selectmen of the Town of _______________ hereby confirms its preference to build a municipally-owned “fiber to the premises” broadband network. At this time, we support the WiredWest Regional Broadband Solution to manage and operate the Town network on a regional basis in conjunction with other towns that subscribe to the services offered by WiredWest.
RESOLVED: The Board of Selectmen of the Town of _______________ hereby confirms that we are interested in working with the Westfield Gas & Electric MLP (WG&E) through WiredWest to provide Design and Engineering services and construction Project Management for our town owned fiber to the premises network based upon the fee schedule that was in the WG&E response to MBI’s private partner RFP.
In order to accomplish this, we request that MBI provide the professional services allocation to towns that are managing their own build.