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Verizon FiOS service might be coming to Trafford area

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Another cable option might be available for most Trafford residents within a few months.

Trafford Council authorized Solicitor Craig Alexander at a Feb. 6 special meeting to begin negotiations with Verizon to bring the FiOS service into town.

Council members said Verizon could make its service available to about 92 percent of households — essentially those who have above-ground utilities. Homeowners in the Bradford Square, Coventry Court and Shadow Wood plans would not be able to sign up because Verizon has not yet built its fiber-optic network to connect to underground utilities in Trafford.

Alexander said the agreement might be completed within a couple of months. A review by the state Public Utility Commission then could take another three weeks, he said.

Council members said the biggest benefit for residents would be to provide competition for service through Comcast or satellite companies.

In the 2013 budget, Council estimated it would receive about $35,000 cable franchise fees, based on existing subscriptions. Trafford could reap a little more money if the Verizon deal entices residents to switch from satellite service — which does not pay the borough a franchise fee — or attracts new subscriptions from households that don't have cable now.

Council President Rich Laird said Trafford receives 5 percent of Comcast's subscription rates.

Aspinwall and Blawnox officials recently approved agreements with Verizon.

Gas regulator

Alexander also is working with Equitable Gas Co. officials on the re-installation of a gas regulator near the Trafford Veterans Memorial Bridge, which is under construction.

Equitable has proposed placing the regulator about 160 feet from the bridge and 70 feet from a Brinton Avenue home, Laird said. He said he would prefer that Equitable move the regulator closer to the bridge.

Alexander also said there is a tentative settlement to a 2008 lawsuit the borough filed against Equitable. Borough officials said that gas lines caused the sidewalk to rise at least two inches along East Gilmore Avenue in front of 36 homes.

Recycling area

Council is trying to find another area for a recycling drop-off because a new retail development near the intersection of Forbes Road and Route 130 makes it difficult for motorists to turn around as the existing site.

Union Real Estate is advertising to fill the retail stores built last year by Urban Properties. The recycling area partially was on property Urban owned.

The site has a fenced-in area for aluminum cans, a box for the American Thrift Center, a paper recycling box and a Waste Management trash bin.

New credit card

Council last week agreed to use a new purchasing card through the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust to replace various store credit cards.

Councilman John Daykon said having the P-Card will cut down some of the paperwork among departments. The arrangement might enable the borough to write about 50 fewer checks per month from the 200 to 300 usually issued, he said.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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