Friday, March 5, 2021

County pushes state for broadband coverage

 Supervisors March 4 2021

County pushes state for broadband coverage


LAKE PLEASANT—When the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors it passed a resolution calling upon the governor to provide broadband coverage for all New Yorkers.


WHEREAS, the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has said broadband coverage is a priority for New York State; and

WHEREAS, in September, 2019, the Governor announced the Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force, stating “every New Yorker should be able to access a stable cell connection, yet our upstate regions have struggled for too long to make the connections that are vital to everyday life and commerce… Today we're leading the way forward by establishing a task force of cellular service experts, elected representatives and environmental advocates who will develop concrete policies and help to ensure service is provided and infrastructure for it is built in a sustainable way;” and

WHEREAS maps developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) using Form 477 data are inaccurate and misrepresent the accessibility of broadband and cellular service and are referenced by the federal and state governments for funding purposes: and 

WHEREAS the FCC recently announced a $99 million federal investment through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to deploy broadband technology to over 46,000 previously unserved locations in rural portions of upstate New York in the coming years; and

WHEREAS, the House of Representatives passed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technology Availability Act, legislation which improves the accuracy of the FCC’s broadband availability maps by strengthening the process by which broadband data is collected. The Broadband DATA Act was signed into law on March 23rd, 2020; and

WHEREAS, based on newer and more accurate data gathered directly from schools, municipalities, and other organization, there are large gaps in broadband and rural cellular service across rural and upstate New York, contradicting FCC maps; and 

WHEREAS the FCC staff also determined that the Mobility Fund Phase II coverage maps submitted by certain carriers overstated actual coverage and did not reflect on-the-ground performance in many instances: and

WHEREAS, the FCC ultimately terminated the planned Mobility Fund Phase II auction and replace it with a 5G Fund for Rural America, using multi-round reverse auctions to distribute up to $9 billion to bring voice and 5G broadband service to rural areas of our country that are unlikely to see unsubsidized deployment of 5G-capable networks; and

WHEREAS, New York State has also adopted legislation that enacted a right-of-way use and occupancy fee for any fiber optic cables located in or crossing a state-controlled right of way and authorized the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter fee-bearing permits with fiber optic installers; and

WHEREAS, understanding the financial constraints facing the State of New York, counties across the state endeavor to work with the State to incentivize the development of fiber connections in rural areas of the State; and

WHEREAS our residents need access to reliable and affordable broadband and cellular service for school, employment, telehealth, and social aspects of life; and 

WHEREAS, as we have seen in the face of this pandemic, broadband serves a vital need for breaking down the digital divide that creates groups of haves and have-nots within our state; and 

WHEREAS, broadband and cellular access provides a critical public infrastructure need for New York residents, towns, municipalities, counties, emergency services, and more. 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Adirondack Inter-county Association calls upon Governor Cuomo, our Federal and State legislative delegations to work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and local leaders and officials to deploy new broadband and cellular service maps in order to deploy the 5G Fund for Rural America as well as broadband infrastructure programs; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Adirondack Inter-county Association asks the Governor and State Legislature to amend Section 24-e of the Highway Law and Section 7 of the Transportation Corporation Law to incentivize the deployment of fiber connectivity in rural and hard to serve regions of the State; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Adirondack Inter-county Association asks the Governor and our Federal and State legislative delegations to work to ensure this vital economic development infrastructure need is available to all New Yorkers  to  prevent  the  further  isolation of those in need; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, copies of this resolution be sent to the counties of New York State encouraging member counties to enact similar resolutions; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Adirondack Inter-county Association shall forward copies of this resolution to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, the New York State Congressional Delegation, and all others deemed necessary and proper.  

The board also passed the following resolutions.


WHEREAS there are unspent funds in the 2020 HRI COVID-19 Response Grant, and WHEREAS, the grant ends March 31, 2021, be it

RESOLVED, that the County Treasurer is hereby authorized to fund the following Accounts in the 2021 County Budget:

A4189.1102 HRI COVID19 PERSONAL SERVICE - $7,878.55 A4189.4102 HRI COVID19 SUPPLIES - $ 345.21 A4189.4103 HRI COVID19 MISCELLANEOUS - $9,188.69 A4189.8610 HRI COVID19 FRINGE - $3,908.92.

To be totally offset by increasing Revenue Account No. A4401.0100 HRI COVID 19 by - $21,321.37.


WHEREAS there is a shortage of funds in the Community College Account, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the County Treasurer be hereby authorized to make the following transfers:

FROM: A1990.0401 Contingent $16,512.34 TO: A2490.0401 Community College


WHEREAS Resolution No. 156-20 authorized a contract with Barbara Taylor for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Services with funding from the New York State Department of Health through Health Research, Inc (HRI) for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Grant activities, and

WHEREAS, due to the COVID Pandemic it is necessary to reallocate the grant funding to increase the contract for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Services, be it

RESOLVED, that the contract with Barbara Taylor, 486 Kickerville Lane, Long Lake, NY, 12847 for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Services for the term of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 with the rate of $30.00 per hour be amended to increase the not to exceed amount from $33,000 to $43,000, plus mileage at the current IRS Rate, and be it further

RESOLVED, that upon the approval of the County Attorney the Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to sign said amendment and the Director of Public Health and the County Treasurer be so notified.


WHEREAS there is a need to fill the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator position, and

WHEREAS the Director of Public Health requests to transition the contract PHEP position to a full time Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, be it

RESOLVED, the position of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator is hereby created and will be funded by a future resolution and the County Treasurer, Personnel Officer and Public Health Director be so authorized.

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