A new place for Glo? New Shentel ID town center site to locate facility – The Suffolk News-Herald

Shentel identified a new downtown location for a broadband facility less than a month after city council rejected its first choice.

The Edinburgh-based company is now seeking to locate its facilities at the rear of the car park of the city’s health and social care building at Hall Avenue and Culloden Street, according to a resolution approved by the board on Wednesday. Economic Development Authority to become a signatory. on the company’s new conditional use license application following a closed meeting to discuss the arrangement.

While the authority and the company would still need to negotiate the terms and conditions for the location of its facility on the authority’s property, this allows Shentel to begin the process of applying for a conditional use license for the health and social services building about a mile away. what had been Shentel’s prime site on vacant property at 120, 122, and 124 S. 5th St. just off East Washington Street.

Council voted 7-0 at its April 20 meeting against granting the company a conditional use permit to allow the company to locate its facilities on these properties.

Residents of South 5th Street said the company had not provided adequate notice of their plans and raised concerns about falling property values ​​and possible health effects.

City officials had suggested the company find another location, preferably on a commercial site.

Hughes said the 320-space parking lot is underutilized and could handle the facility Shentel wants to build.

“I think their focus would be to try and deliver services this year,” Hughes said. “And to stay on track, they needed an alternate site because this one didn’t go as planned.”

The proposed new location, owned by the EDA, would still be subject to public hearings before the Planning Commission and council for a new conditional use permit. However, the authority’s board allowed the EDA to host the facility on its property in a 5-0 vote.

Company officials said it needed a fiber optic point-of-presence site for the company’s Glo Fiber broadband service.

He had proposed to build a 30-by-60-foot fenced compound with street access and a 336-square-foot equipment shelter that was to contain the necessary fiber optic equipment, as well as a 45-foot power pole with aerials above and a back-up generator. He had noted future plans for another 336-square-foot equipment shelter and a 25-by-60-foot expansion of the complex.

At the first public hearing for Shentel’s permit application, the company’s senior network engineer, Billy Hume, said the company wanted to use the South 5th Street location because it needed to be centrally located and that he had distance limits with his fiber. The new site would be about a mile away.

Shentel officials said they would like to be able to start providing services to residents of the city before the end of this year.

It is unclear, however, when the new conditional use license will reach the commission or council.

Deputy Director of Planning Kevin Wyne and City Manager Al Moor said last month that the company could apply for another conditional use permit for another site, but that process would likely take at least 90 days to allow the office planning to assess the suitability of a new site.

Last year, the council unanimously approved a three-year right-of-way license agreement that allows Shentel, formerly known as Shenandoah Cable Television LLC, to operate in the city.

Council members said when they turned down the company’s first permit application that the issue was only about location and that they wanted Shentel to operate in the city.

“It would only be a few streets away,” Hughes said. “And there’s no one living nearby, so you take the residential issue out of the equation.”

David H. Henry