Internet provider plans to ‘light up’ Ogdensburg with new fiber optics cables

Ogdensburg. The borough council agreed to give Planet Networks right-of-way for the installation. “The school would love to jump on that,” said Ogdensburg Elementary Superintendent David Astor.

| 16 Jun 2020 | 03:01

The Ogdensburg Council agreed to give Planet Networks, an internet service provider, a right-of-way through the borough for its fiber optics cables.

CEO Robert Boyle told the council at its June 8 meeting that the company hopes to “light up” the borough early next year with business and consumer services.

Based in Newton, Planet Networks has been in business since 1994 and operates a nationwide IP backbone. Boyle said they’ve been building fiber optics networks around Sussex County for the past two years and have driven the cost down. Currently, he said, they are deploying about one mile per day. Planet Networks is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

Boyle said work in all of Lake Mohawk and Newton is expected to be completed this summer. They are also building in Andover, Byram, and Franklin, he said.

Because Planet Networks is already in areas surrounding Ogdensburg, Boyle said it makes sense to come through Ogdensburg from Franklin and over to Sparta.

Boyle said there is nothing exclusive about Planet Networks. Customers may choose to use them, the phone and cable company, or satellite, when viable.

“It is just good to have another choice for the citizens of the town,” he said.

He said 99 percent of the time, the backbone fiber runs on existing telephone poles, above cable. They then “run drops to individual houses and businesses,” he said.

Boyle said the evaluation process involves taking pictures of the poles. Then the company readies the poles and strings the fiber through from a big spool.

Ogdensburg Elementary School Superintendent David Astor said he is very excited about fiber coming to the borough. “The school would love to jump on that,” he said.

The borough attorney, Robert McBriar, will prepare a resolution for the right-of-way by the next meeting.

In other business
Water tank inspection: Officials agreed to Council President Michael Nardini’s suggestion to inspect a water tank on top of the hill at a cost of $1,500. After a robot inspects the tank for leaks and other problems, the council may schedule another time for repairs, if needed. Cleaning sediment out of the tank while leaving the water in will cost $4,500. A full draining, power washing, and cleaning will cost $12,000. Nardini said before the little tank can be cleaned, the borough must find the tank specifications, because of concern about the robot getting stuck in an unknown chamber of the water tank. The robot costs a couple thousand dollars to replace, he said. The little tank is in the pump house on Edison Road.
Salt shed repairs: Councilman Anthony Nasisi recommended fixing the salt shed roof by changing the roof to steel for $7,500. The borough attorney, Robert McBriar, will prepare the appropriate resolution for the next meeting.
Borough oil tanks: Nasisi said the borough needs to remove the oil tank from the Historical Building, and take if off the borough’s insurance policy. He said he will check with the insurance company about the age of the Department of Public Works and police department tanks to determine compliance and if they are still insurable. The borough may need to remove the tanks next year, he said.
Heater’s Pond: Councilwoman Brenda O’Dell said Heater’s Pond opened on May 30 with five newly hired lifeguards.
Borough Hall hours: Mayor George Hutnick said borough hall will remain closed to the public. However, employees’ hours will return to five days a week because of employee requests for more time to finish work.
Tunnel signs: Hutnick said signs on Corkhill Road and before the tunnel are needed to warn trucks of height restrictions before entering. He said trucks are starting to cause property damage because they ignore the signs and back into driveways and yards after not being able to pass through the tunnel. Hutnick asked officials if they could raise the ticket costs for the trucks. McBriar will check about amending the ordinance.
Fire department apparatus: Councilwoman Rachel Slater said the fire department may purchase a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV by the end of June. Chief Financial Officer Michael Marceau said buying from a private seller instead of another government agency may be a problem because of the bid threshold. He explained they cannot get a second bid for a used item because of the “fair-and-open process” for purchases. McBriar said state contracts through the state purchasing program, or any contracts between sister municipalities or counties, are exempt from the bid requirement. Police Chief Stephen Gordon said the selling companies are brokers for the fire departments, and the local public contract would apply in that case. Marceau said he will speak with the broker this week. Hutnick recommended purchasing directly from the municipality.