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Gloversville council gets filled in on benefits of fiber-optic technology

September 27, 2012
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - City government may connect to fiber-optic technology.

Stephen Schmitt of Tech Valley Communications spoke to the council regarding fiber-optic installations in the city during the Common Council meeting Tuesday.

The company already has expanded its fiber optic network into the city, Mayfield, Amsterdam, Johnstown and Fonda in the last year.

Schmitt explained that fiber-optic technology is superior to cable in several ways, one of those being it is not susceptible to weather-associated problems that cause static and outages.

The optical fibers, which are made of glass, are about the same diameter as a human hair. Compared to regular metal wires, the fibers permit transmissions over long distances with more bandwidth and provide more speed for Internet connections.

The city will be looking for a new Internet plan next year. As a result, Schmitt met with city officials to design a solution that could bring fiber-optic technology to City Hall, the fire station, transit service building and the highway department.

"This will lay the groundwork for a voice network that will save the city thousands of dollars each year by consolidating the 60-plus phone lines presently provided by Frontier," said Schmitt. "We also spoke about the opportunity of utilizing the city's traffic-signal conduits to help bring fiber to sections of North and South Main Street."

The council made no decision on the matter at the meeting.

Neighborhood signs

At the meeting, 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth suggested the council consider paying the expenses for four new signs for the neighborhood watch group so they don't have to pay for them out of pocket.

Wentworth said the "highest-grade" sign would cost about $24. She only suggested paying for four, but Councilman-At-Large James Robinson suggested paying for six, so that there would be one for each ward.

The council made no decision on the matter.

In other business at the meeting:

Police Chief Donald VanDeusen noted the department has been receiving numerous calls from residents of the city about campaign signs being moved and stolen without permission.

VanDeusen said with campaign season in full swing, his department will prosecute any person found moving or stealing campaign signs. He advised all residents who witness such activity to report it to the owner of the sign and the department.

The council also extended the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act Environmental Restoration Program state assistance contract for the Pan American Tanning Co. site between the city and the state Department of Environmental Conservation that is set to expire Dec. 31.

There remains unfinished work to be completed under the contract and it is beneficial to both the city and the DEC to execute a no-cost time extension to the existing contract, a resolution said.

In 2007, the city tore down the main tannery building at the site. However, concerned residents near the West Fulton Street site pressed the city to tear down the remaining buildings.

There was also a resolution passed by the council to authorize the commissioner of finance to execute a budget modification related to Fire Department personnel. The Fire Department personnel budget included $23,600 for a part-time administrative assistant, which has not been filled.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached at



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