The Woodstock Town Board is considering leasing space to Archtop Fiber for its operations in Woodstock. The company, which provides high-speed Internet and phone service for homes and businesses, is a competitor of Spectrum.
Archtop needs a roughly ten-by-20-foot building to house a network hub. The Mescal Hornbeck Community Center property would be an ideal location. The company sought an easement to place the building.
Supervisor Bill McKenna believes the town needs to charge rent. “My reading of the New York State Constitution says that we can gift things to anyone, and to grant them something without compensation to the public, as I read the Constitution, is not legal,” McKenna said.
McKenna said the building would house network equipment. Wiring would connect to the utility poles.
“In conversations, I think that the closer to the phone lines and the power lines, the better. So when we had a brief conversation, either over by the fence line between the cemetery and the parking lot, there’s a strip that we could put, say, a ten-by-20 building,” McKenna said. “Also, if you look over at the community center, there’s almost like a triangle piece of grass. And there’s hedges right in front of it. So I think pressed up right against the hedges might be another location that’s right under the lines.”
Councilwoman Laura Ricci is amenable to leasing the space.
Discussion of the space led to the town board talking about its next big town project, renovating or replacing the youth center.
“I’ve always been a pretty big proponent of renovating. Being green, saving and repurposing. I think in this particular instance, though, and I am going to suggest we put a committee together to look at both ends of it,” McKenna said. “That’s a tough building to use as a youth center, and it needs a lot of work. And I think in this particular case, I think teardown is more warranted, and then a good solid, single-floor space. And for a youth center, I think ideally, you want one big space with maybe a couple of little side rooms and an office. So I think we would be better off rebuilding.”