Change will bring fiber here sooner

Gwen Chamberlain

Yates County Legislators have made a change to the planned dark fiber route that will be built under an agreement with the Southern Tier Network. The change could bring fiber optic technology from Branchport to Keuka Park and the village of Penn Yan sooner than previously planned — perhaps as early as November, according to Yates County Administrator Sarah Purdy.

“We’re starting to see good things happen,” said Legislative Chairman Timothy Dennis Monday after the legislators agreed to make the necessary changes to the planned route of the fiber optic system.

Purdy says Empire Access, a company based in Prattsburgh, wants to get to Penn Yan, and will do so along a 4.3 mile route from Branchport to Keuka College that was previously considered an optional route. The legislature changed the route to the first phase of the overall project. The resolution also puts the 3.2 mile portion of the route from Penn Yan to the airport in the first phase of construction rather than an optional route. The route between Keuka College and Penn Yan was already in the plans.

Purdy says Empire Access officials will be meeting with Penn Yan Village Municipal Utilities officials as early as this week to plan pole placements.

Finance Committee Chairman Douglas Paddock says this will allow Yates County’s project to be “under budget” for this year. Purdy says the county will save approximately $150,000.

A call to Empire Access for more details about the company’s plans was not returned by press time Tuesday.