A company providing cable, internet and phone is looking to pick up a franchise in Montrose, as well as surrounding areas, as they build their service across the northern tier of the state.
Joe Laubach of Zito Media presented a franchise agreement and fielded questions at the Montrose Borough Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 2.
The company based in Coudersport in Potter County provides high speed broadband and cable services to both residential and commercial users.
Laubach said the company is also in the process of establishing T-Mobile towers in the area.
Currently, Zito Media is working on a project to extend the fiber network from Towanda and Wysox in Bradford County to Meshoppen, Montrose and New Milford.
With a franchise agreement in the borough of Montrose, cable television and the voice and internet services would be available to residents.
Time-Warner Cable, now Spectrum, is the only company with a franchise agreement in the borough for cable television service; Frontier is the singular franchise holder for phone service. Both Spectrum and Frontier offer internet.
Zito Media mostly utilizes existing poles, but does have the ability to set their own or bury lines underground if necessary.
The company also handles the Intermediate Unit network across the state for internet services, including NEIU 19, of which Susquehanna County schools are a part of.
Nine T-Mobile towers are in the works to provide service, especially in the Choconut area.
Once pathways are established, Laubach said the company plans to roll out fiber to homes.
Borough solicitor Marion O’Malley is looking at the franchise agreement.
Council also approved signing a natural gas lease with Cabot Oil and Gas, pending O’Malley’s review.
With little progress in remedying codes and zoning violations, council members discussed adopting a fee schedule of fines that would be directly paid to the borough instead of going through the magisterial court system.
The proposal called for first issuing a notice of violation, and – if not handled within 10 days – writing a ticket to the homeowner. Tickets would start at $25 for a first violation; then increase to $50 for a second violation; and a third and subsequent violation would be $100.
Under the proposal, tickets could be immediately issued on instances of open burning or for snow/ice removal.
A notice of violation would be issued first on other codes and zoning issues – such as prohibited signs or high grass.
Despite the lengthy discussion, a motion to adopt the fee schedule died for lack of a second; and the topic was tabled for further discussion.
Councilwoman Judy Kelly reported that after 18 months, Pennsylvania American Water Co. has not yet received its permit from PennDOT and therefore the start of the South Main St. project is delayed until spring of 2018.
In other business:
*Halloween Trick or Treat hours were set for Tuesday, Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m.; with a curfew of 9 p.m.;
*Bridgewater Church received approval to hold a “Trunk or Treat” on Public Avenue on Halloween;
*An advertisement for leaf pickup dates in the borough was approved;
*Budgeted contributions were approved for United Fire Co. ($37,000); Susquehanna County Library ($1,000).
A Volunteer Fire Relief Association payment to United Fire Co. was also approved.
Councilman Tom LaMont was selected as the Montrose representative for participation in the county Hazard Mitigation Plan.