Otis Technology Committee
Minutes for Meeting of
March 20, 2017
Otis Town Hall
Meeting called to order at 6:00 pm in the Town Hall Conference Room, is being recorded, and a quorum is present.
Present: Bill Hiller, Frank Tolopko, Laurie Flower, Larry Gould, and Lisa D’Orazio
Absent: George Mabee
Others Present: Bob Rosen and Lyn O’Brien
Finalize Proposed FY2018 Budget: We began by discussing what we had spent so far for FY’17 and we hope to have $10,000 to $15,000 left at end of year. Margaret will now get the Lenovo demo machine as hers has been shutting down on her. We will also go ahead and purchase two additional machines – one for the Selectmen’s Secretary and one for the Police Department. One of these machines also needs a new mouse. We also need to purchase a new server and some additional Cat 6 wire in order to connect the Council on Aging and Larry’s office into the new Town Hall network. We hope to be able to have the money come from the FY’17 budget for all if not most of this. One item was removed from the computer maintenance line item leaving the total FY2018 proposed Technology budget at $64,000.00.
Discuss VTS Annual Website bill: Lyn and Bill met with Bob of Prospect Marketing on a previous Friday for a demonstration. Lyn had some follow-up questions which are answered on the email for these meeting minutes. Per Lyn, the VTS platform is easier to update and VTS generates a report when links don’t work. Prospect, however, has more features in its calendars. In general, both would work for our needs and both can update from any computer. Our current website can only be updated on computers with the dedicated portal into the website. Both upgrades are roughly the same cost. Bill wanted to go ahead with a vote tonight, but Lisa requested we table the vote until the April meeting. That will give her a chance to meet with Bob and see the demo herself as she along with Lyn will be the primary power users for the website. Everyone agreed to table the vote until April and Lisa and Frank will meet with Bob before then.
Approval of Meeting Minutes: The February 2, 2017 Technology meeting minutes were unanimously approved with amendments. Larry made the motion and Laurie seconded. Bill asked that the presentation of the OtisFiber.com logo be included on the next Select Board agenda.
Broadband Updates: The network design is complete excluding Otis Woodlands. Because Sandisfield is working with a private company and Otis is working with an MLP, Otis and Sandisfield need to meet to determine how to handle the Woodlands piece. Otis is prepared to connect the Otis properties in the Woodlands if there is no other agreed upon solution. Otis’ network will be a municipal loop (ring) with two optical terminals. This will give us the potential to bring in signals from other locations if one area goes down – a self-healing system. Pole licensing has been completed for four neighborhoods out of seven. Otis is currently ready to begin purchasing the optical fiber, which has a six month lead time. This purchase will utilize Westfield’s existing RFP and we will request the full quantity needed with staggered scheduled delivery dates. WG&E is handling the RFP and we will directly issue the purchase orders for the construction costs. Project management is still under negotiation. Network operations will be for two years as a 24/7 platform, with them managing equipment rollout. WG&E is working with other nearby towns and they hope to use Otis as a launch point in order to lower backhaul costs for us and surrounding towns using the WG&E network. A motion was made to take a vote of confidence to the Select Board to have WG&E as Whip City Fiber do Otis’ construction contractor bidding, material bidding, run our network operations, provide maintenance, security and network support. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:20 pm.
Lisa D’Orazio, recording secretary
Town of Otis Technology Committee
List of Documents
A copy of the final FY2018 figures will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the FY2017 Technology expenditures so far will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the email thread from Prospect Marketing will be filed with these meeting minutes.