NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

NEWTOWN BOROUGH FIRE HALL

14 LIBERTY STREET

NEWTOWN, PA

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2005


MINUTES OF MAY 4, 2005: James Bowe moved to approve the minutes of May 4, 2005. The motion was seconded by Steve Erwin and passed unanimously.


Members Present: James Manahan, Chairman; James Bowe, Member; Steve Erwin, Member; Walt Iwaskiw, Member; Barbara Jankowski, Member and Scott Harp, Liaison Representing Newtown Township; Don Smith, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough. Not in attendance was Patrick Foster, Vice-Chairman Representing Newtown Borough.

Not present was Joseph Czajkowski representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman James Manahan called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.

MINUTES OF APRIL 6, 2005:

James Bowe moved to approve the minutes of April 6, 2005. The motion was seconded by Steve Erwin and passed unanimously with one member abstaining.

NEW BUSINESS:

OLD BUSINESS:

The committee members discussed the work Verizon is doing within the Township James Manahan thanked James Bowe for his help regarding Verizon. James Bowe advised on the repair work needing to be done by Verizon within the Township and the job done by contractors within his development. He also commented with regards to the job being done by contractors in other neighborhoods and the need to add topsoil. Don Smith commented with regards to the lack of supervision being done by management and the repair needed to the lawns. Scott Harp advised that John Boyle is in charge of supervising the repair work being done by the Verizon contractors. James Bowe commented with regards to the repair of the lawns needing to be done now, June will be to late and the residents will need to water. Walt Iwaskiw advised that the committee needs to discuss the matter with John Boyle, he also commented with regards for the need to re-inspect areas in the fall for additional repair work. Don Smith advised on the Borough’s situation with regards to Verizon, he also commented on a bond the Borough has with Verizon. James Bowe commented with regards to the utility markings, he advised that the Newtown Artesian Water Company can not seek restoration from Verizon for any debt incurred due to marking the utilities. He suggested discussing the issue further with Verizon. The committee members discussed the utility companies’ rights. Barbara Jankowski advised on her feelings with regards to the work being done by Verizon within the Township and the Borough. Scott Harp commented with regards to the work Verizon is doing within the Township and the Borough, he advised that per Verizon the project should be complete by June 2005. The committee discussed competition within the area. Walt Iwaskiw commented with regards to the subcontractors hired by Verizon. James Bowe advised the committee members that he has the new service Verizon is offering and discussed the equipment used, he also commented on the work done by Verizon on his property. Walt Iwaskiw commented with regards to the wiring that will be done in his neighborhood, he also advised on how the other utilities are wired within his neighborhood. The committee discussed multiple utility locations and co-located utilities. The committee discussed utility calls regarding locating the fiber. The committee members discussed the new service that Verizon is offering. James Bowe advised that the service has been great and you can definitely hear the difference in sound quality, he also invited committee members to his home to view the service and the job done on his property by the Verizon contractors. The Committee members discussed the “Newtown hum”. Walt Iwaskiw advised that he has spoken with Verizon regarding the hum and was advised by Verizon that the hum is due to noisy lines. Scott Harp commented with regards to the Township and the Borough looking towards the future and the committee doing a great job. James Bowe discussed the survey he is conducting, he advised he would updated James Manahan next week. The committee members discussed the work progress Verizon has made within Newtown Grant. James Bowe advised that the conduit is in and his believes they are still pulling some fiber. Walt Iwaskiw commented with regards to the unfinished projects within the Township. James Bowe advised on the crew who finishes the conduit. The members discussed their safety concerns. The members discussed posting a notice on the web site and character generator to advise the public whom to contact is they have any concerns regarding the work Verizon is doing within the community. Scott Harp advised he believes that has been done but he would double check, he also advised that the residents should contact John Boyle, 215-968-2800 ext. 275. Scott Harp advised that there are a number of issues needing to be resolved and he is in daily contact with John Boyle. James Bowe updated the committee with regards to an issue in Pickering Trace where the Verizon contractors cut a wire. He advised that he requested Karen Doorley to send him a copy of the invoice for the repair and that the committee would contact Verizon. Scott Harp advised on a similar case. The members discussed various problems within the Township. The members discussed the work done by the Verizon subcontractors. The members discussed the work done in Newtown Crossing. The committee members were in agreement that they should be advised on any problems concerning Verizon. Scott Harp advised that John Boyle is the front person and that the Township could advised James Manahan on any problems as the occur.

The committee members discussed the searchable franchise agreement file.

The committee members discussed the improvements that have been made to the character generator. Members agreed that the Technology department has done a great job with the character generator. The committee agreed they have no further recommendations at this time.

The committee members discussed the changes to the web site.

COMCAST UPDATE:

There was no update from Comcast.

The committee members discussed Comcast’s future and agreed that sometime in the future Comcast would have a major upgrade. The members discussed the removal of all pedestals and the upcoming franchise agreement.

The committee discussed the changes in television when analog television is gone and the increased bandwidth.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

Scott Harp thanked the committee members for the quality of their work and advised he is looking forward to working further with the committee.

Walt Iwaskiw commented with regards to the Township drafting a franchise agreement with Verizon. Scott Harp updated the members on the matter and advised that Fred Polner is involved. Walt Iwaskiw recommended that the Township does not sign the franchise agreement until all of the repair issues have been resolved.

The committee discussed canceling the meeting scheduled for July 6, 2005. James Bowe made a motion to cancel the meeting schedule for July 6, 2005. The motion was seconded by Barbara Jankowski and passed unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, 2005. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., in the Newtown Borough Fire Station located at 14 Liberty Street, Newtown.

 

Respectfully submitted:

 

____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary