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Litchfield High-Speed Fiber Network Updates

It’s going to take a while, and there will be lots of info between the first shovel of dirt to the last home connected.  Other than social media posts and quick updates on our home page, a dedicated website page to sharing all of the info should be helpful.  So, here you are . . . with the most current info at the top.

Questions?  Feel free to to contact any of the Litchfield Township Trustees (click here to go to our Get In Touch Page) or come to any of the Trustee meetings, held the 4th Monday of each month at 6 pm (click here for a list of the Trustee meeting dates).

 

Medina County Fiber Network Public Meeting Update  11/16/21

Thank you to all who braved the cold weather to attend the public meeting last night.  We had 40 people present, and everyone was able to ask questions and voice their opinions.

While most people who attended were eager for Litchfield Township to bring in the high-speed fiber network, some people questioned using the ARPA grant money to help fund the project; they believe the money should be used for other township projects instead.

While their opinions are valid, the issue is that there are strict federal guidelines on how the ARPA grant money can only be used.

According to the Ohio Township Association’s website, the US Department of the Treasury has listed 5 areas where the ARPA funds can be used.  One is “To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.”  Click here to go to the website.

Also during last night’s meeting, Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley and Medina County Fiber Network CEO Dave Corrado answered questions and explained where we are in the process.

Basically, 2 pieces of the puzzle still need to be completed:

  1. The attorneys for Medina County and Medina County Fiber must finish clarifying the regulations for the use of this grant money.
  2. LMRE is 90% on board; we’re still waiting to hear confirmation from them.

When these steps are completed, then the Litchfield Trustees will vote on spending $137,522 of the $358,000 grant we were awarded.  I stand behind this decision and am committed to bringing a high-speed fiber network to Litchfield Township.

People are asking why this process takes so long.  The answer is simple: we are working with federal grant money and have to follow their guidelines to the letter.  If we do not, we will have to pay all of the grant money back.  So, we are making sure to do everything right the first time.

Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.  As soon as we get the go-ahead from the attorneys at the Medina County prosecutor’s office and the Medina County Port Authority, we will move into the construction phase.

Questions?  Give Trustee Dennis Horvath a call at (330) 591-5397.

Medina County Fiber Network Public Meeting  11/3/21

When:  Monday, November 15, 2021 at 7 pm
Where:  Litchfield Township Auxiliary Building (next to the Town Hall), 9266 Norwalk Road
Who:  Steve Hambley, Medina County Commissioner, and Dave Corrado, CEO of Medina County Fiber Network
Invitation List:  Everyone!  This is a public meeting, giving you a chance to get all your questions answered.

At this public meeting, Commissioner Hambley and Mr. Corrado will explain the plan to bring a high-speed fiber network to Litchfield Township.  Some of the details:

  • how the ARPA grant money comes in to play
  • Litchfield Township’s responsibility
  • the project stages and timeline

They will then answer your questions, so bring them along.  This is a great opportunity for everyone in Litchfield to voice any concerns and ask any questions.  If you have any questions, call Trustee Dennis Horvath at (330) 591-5397. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

conduit coils

NEW NEWS!  11/1/21

Most everyone in the township has heard something about the high-speed fiber optic project coming to Litchfield Township, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to keep up on the latest.  So, we’ve made a separate page here on the Litchfield Township website with all the information we share.

Just click on the Network News tab in the menu at the top of any LT website page:

Network News

 

Anything we post on the LT website home page or social media will also be posted on the Network News page, with the most current info at the top.  Questions?  Contact Trustee Dennis Horvath at (330) 591-5397.

 

Special Meeting 11/1/21

NOTICE:  Special Meeting this Monday, November 1 at 4 pm, Litchfield Town Hall.  The meeting is to vote on the resolution to support Medina County Fiber Network’s Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant application (click here for more info).  The public is welcome to attend.  Questions?  Contact Trustee Dennis Horvath at (330) 591-5397.

 

Medina County Fiber Network Update!  10/29/21

As of yesterday’s meeting, Medina County Fiber Network (MCFN) is in the process of putting together one Memorandum of Understanding between them and LMRE and another between them and the Medina Port Authority to bring high-speed internet to Litchfield Township.

According to Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley:

  • Medina Fiber plans to start work at the beginning of January 2022.
  • They will work through the winter; weather will not be an issue.
  • MCFN estimates it will take 2 years to get every household on the network.

In the meantime, last night’s meeting identified 4 steps to a January 2022 start:

  1. MCFN engineers must finalize the network design to incorporate all 6 Medina townships affected.
  2. MCFN engineers must finalize the fiber cable sizes and counts needed for the project.
  3. LMRE must decide on all the pole attachments needed.
  4. By the end of December, the Litchfield Township Trustees will vote to pass a resolution to authorize the spending of money from our ARPA grant to be a part of this project.

MCFN will then build the backbone of the cable network to cut through the county.  Then they will build the distribution lines for each street.  Last, they will connect each household to these distribution lines.

NOTE:  I have asked Steve Hambley to attend a special Litchfield Town Hall meeting in the next few weeks to answer all of your questions and address any concerns.  Please check here and on the Litchfield Township website (litchfieldtownship.com) for the date and time.  In the meantime, feel free to call me at (330) 591-5397 with any questions or attend any Trustee meeting the 4th Monday of each month at 6 pm at the Litchfield Town Hall. 

 

Medina County Fiber Network and ARPA grants   10/26/21

As you all know, getting better internet service in Litchfield Township has been an issue for years. While there are several small providers like Frontier and GLW, none of the big companies like Armstrong were willing to spend the millions of dollars necessary to run high-speed fiber to our area.  Six months ago, Dave Corrado, CEO of Medina County Fiber Network, came to a Litchfield Trustee meeting and said that there were no investors and no federal or state money available to make this feasible.

Then we were recently awarded $358,000 in a federal COVID relief American Rescue Plan (ARPA) grant, and high-speed internet is finally a possibility for Litchfield and 5 other small townships near us. What makes this possible, though, is that Medina County has allocated $5.5 million of their own grant award toward this project.

Litchfield Township Fiscal Officer Pam Shaw, Trustee Chuck Reynolds and I attended a meeting last Thursday, October 14 run by Mr. Corrado and Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley at the Chatham Town Hall.  They laid out the next steps for Litchfield and the five other townships before the installation of high-fiber internet can happen, all of which are the responsibility of Medina County and the Medina County Fiber Network:

  1. The attorneys for both of these entities must clarify the regulations for the use of this grant money.
  2. They must also prove that this is a valid use of the grant money.
  3. Last, Medina County Fiber Network must hire contractors and subcontractors who follow these regulations.

Mr. Corrado stated that he expects all legal issues to be clarified within the next 30 days.

In the meantime, this Thursday, October 28, there is a meeting between Medina County, Medina County Fiber Network and LMRE to create a binding commitment to this project.  Once I know the outcome, I will pass the info on to you. 

Then, once all these steps are accomplished, Litchfield Township Trustees can pass resolutions to join the network and allocate the $137,522 of ARPA money towards bringing high-speed fiber to Litchfield.  It will be a few months still before everything is in place, but I think we all agree that it’s great news for our community.

I will keep you informed as events progress.  In the meantime, feel free to call me at (330) 591-5397 with any questions.  And you are always welcome to attend any Trustee meeting; we meet the fourth Monday of every month at 6 pm in the Litchfield Town Hall. 

Stay tuned for more info soon!

 

Fiber Optics Announcement  9/23/21

Have you heard the great news?  In an article in the Medina Gazette on September 22, Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley announced that a new federally funded project called Fiber Early should provide fiber access to all Medina townships within two years!

The article is entitled “Fiber-to-home access to be sped up for townships,” and here’s the link:  https://medina-gazette.com/news/275734/fiber-to-home-access-to-be-sped-up-for-townships/.

As Hambley says, this is still in the planning stages, so the Litchfield Trustees will keep you informed as we learn more.  Hang in there!