ARKPORT — The Arkport Village Board took official action on cable television franchising, water system financing and local health care Tuesday.
In another development, the village board huddled in executive session to discuss the sale of the old Arkport DPW building, with it possibly becoming a new home for the Arkport Fire Department. A sale price has not been announced, and no official action was taken, village officials said.
In public session, the board of trustees approved:
- A franchise agreement with Community Cable Corporation and Empire Video Services to provide cable television services within the village.
- The issuances of bonds up to a value of $2,586,000 to finance the costs of improvements to the village's water supply and distribution system.
- A resolution urging the state Health Department, and relevant local, state and federal officials "to do anything in their power" to ensure that St. James Mercy Hospital continues to provide quality health care to area residents, and keeps inpatient services and a maternity ward.
There were no votes in opposition to any of the resolutions. Trustee Ezra Geist abstained on the hospital measure
The cable television franchise agreement was the subject of a public hearing prior to Tuesday night's regular board meeting. General manager Brian Ketchum estimated the system will be in place and turned on "in the first quarter of 2015."
The new franchise will compete for customers with the existing cable TV franchise in the village, Time-Warner.
Village officials asked Ketchum about the possibility of offering Buffalo or Rochester network affiliate stations instead of Elmira. There appears to be little chance of that happening.
Community Cable and Empire Video, which also offer telephone and internet services, were recently granted a franchise in the city of Hornell.
The water system upgrade involves a major initiative to address the water collection system. About 75 percent of the system's water lines, some of which are as much as 100 years old, will be replaced. Collectors at the spring date back to 1935, and they will be replaced as well.
Also in connection with the water project, the board passed a required resolution agreeing to determination that the project has no significant environmental impact.
The hospital resolution is circulating to municipal and school boards throughout Steuben County, as Hornell officials look to build support for maintaining comprehensive health care services in the Maple City.