Manchester Village and Township Cooperation for Broadband





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By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

As the broadband debate continues to be a hot topic of discussion for rural communities, communication has been consistent in the Village of Manchester and the Manchester Township as they know it’s a decision that’s looming.

In March, the Township hired CCG to conduct a broadband feasibility study that will help them determine their options and courses of action for Broadband access in the community.

After informally acting as a subcommittee, last month the Board of Trustees officially formed a broadband committee to formalize the process and make people aware of their responsibilities. The committee will be responsible for walking the township through the study process as it continues throughout the summer.

The committee will consist of five individuals; a Manchester Township resident, a Village of Manchester resident, an individual from the education section, an individual from the real estate sector and a township board member.

Meetings will happen as much as twice a month to review information and make sure communication is constant to the township and board. The committee will evaluate the options from the feasibility study to be completed at the end of summer and make a recommendation.

On May 22 Lisa Moutinho, a trustee on the Manchester Township Board and member of the Broadband Committee, met with Manchester Village President Pat Vaillencourt to discuss the needs of both the township and the Village.

Moutinho told The Sun Times that Vaillencourt and the village were supportive of the committee, the research they were doing, and their work on exploring viable options.

In addition to talking about the formation of the committee, they talked about a potential townhall the village could conduct to get citizen input in case broadband becomes a ballot issue in the fall.

Given the season transition to summer and people away on vacation they decided to shoot for a townhall during the week of Jul 16, after the Fair. Moutinho said that representatives from the township would attend as well as representative from CCG.

“We’d also like to get ahold of representative Donna Lasinski and see if she could be here or a representative from her office could be at the townhall,” said Moutinho. “So that is tentatively scheduled for some time during the week of Jul. 16.”

So far, the Township has received three applications for the committee and Moutinho said she would like to move forward.

“We’re still looking to fill some positions,” said Moutinho. “My opinion; it’s a board decision, but my opinion is even though with three, I’d still like to move forward with the committee. We’re looking to find people that fill the ideas for education and real estate.”

The appointments won’t be made until the Jun. 12 Township Board Meeting.

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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