QUAKERTOWN, Pa. – Quakertown Borough may start selling internet service to residents and businesses in 2022.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is running fiber-optic cable along Route 309 to support its traffic signals.
Quakertown has an agreement with PennDOT to use some of that bandwidth, which means the borough would be able to provide high-grade service and add revenue. But financial details are far from being set.
“The big-ticket item is providing service to the commercial community,” Quakertown Manager Scott McElree said Monday at a work session of borough council.
McElree said that service could be provided as WiFi, with nodes throughout the borough, or as a direct connection to homes and businesses.
The borough has experience in providing such services. Quakertown is one of about 35 communities in Pennsylvania that buys electricity wholesale and sells it to residents, and uses the revenue to keep taxes down.
Council also reviewed a noise ordinance that would set limits on how much noise could be made at different times of the week.
A vote will be held at the July 1 meeting in borough hall on the proposed law, which would affect businesses and households.
That law would be enforced locally, but the borough needs state help to control the noise from fireworks, Councilman L. James Roberts Jr. said. The state Legislature eased restrictions on fireworks sales in 2017, and since then, residents statewide have complained about blasts that go late into the night.
“It’s hard to tell where they’re coming from,” Council President Donald Rosenberger said, and that makes it difficult for police to catch offenders.
“From 12, 12:30 on, they’re still being popped off,” Roberts said. A resident said that police should monitor 11th Street for late, loud fireworks.
In other business, McElree presented a proposal to switch billing for electricity, water and sewer charges to Invoice Cloud. He said that the Massachussets-based company would provide options for payments via phone, computer or mail, and also provide options such as text reminders to residents when bills are due.
Council will consider switching to Invoice Cloud from the current service, Utah-based Xpress Bill Pay, at its July 1 meeting.
McElree said work is progressing on the Main Street skating park.
He said that the skateboard and BMX bicycle areas may be ready in late fall. Sometime this winter, he expects the completion of a combination ice skating/hockey rink that may also be used for inline skating in season.
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