CCIDA: PILOT Support of High-Speed Broadband Expansion

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Article Contributed by
The County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency

At its February 2019 board meeting, the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) Board of Directors approved a Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) incentive providing Real Property Tax abatement for DFT Local Service Corporation and a project that promotes rural economic development by increasing broadband high-speed internet access for various unserved and underserved populations across northern Chautauqua County.

“There is no doubt that the residents of Chautauqua County are best served when the public and private sectors step-up and collaborate to advance projects that make our region a better place to live, work, conduct business and visit,” said George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive. “I’m pleased that the CCIDA supported this meaningful initiative and continues to pursue proactive ways to spur positive economic development activity and opportunity throughout the County.”

“We remain laser-focused on identifying and supporting initiatives that create jobs, attract investment, and support local businesses and taxpayers,” said Mark Geise, Deputy Chautauqua County Executive for Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the CCIDA. “The State of New York and DFT Communications have made an important regional investment through this project, and the CCIDA is happy to have played a role in its realization.”

The project, which was funded through a $4.26 million New NY Broadband Program grant and $1.06 million in matching dollars from DFT, brings service to over 1,000 homes and businesses in Chautauqua County. The development area includes portions of the City of Dunkirk and the Village of Cassadaga, along with portions of the Townships of Arkwright, Charlotte, Chautauqua, Sheridan, Stockton, and Pomfret. The 143 miles of new and upgraded mainline fiber optic routes used 2,400 existing utility poles and 600 new poles, and employs multiple construction workers during the deployment phases.

“As a company based in Chautauqua County, we’re proud to contribute funds and resources, and collaborate with the CCIDA and Empire State Development on this initiative,” said Mark Maytum, President and COO of DFT. “Increasing accessibility to reliable high-speed internet in rural areas will help fuel personal, professional, and economic development across the region.”

“DFT Local Service Corporation is very appreciative of the CCIDA’s support for the expansion of broadband access in Chautauqua County,” said Kurt Maytum, President and Chief Technology Officer of DFT. “Our company is committed to advancing the presence and availability of fiber-optic service in rural areas across New York State, and we are pleased to have been involved with yet another successful project.”

The project provides people living and working in rural areas of Chautauqua County a similar experience to broadband service available in New York City. The service will create potential for increased business growth, public services, public safety, and quality of life for many residents in Chautauqua County; this includes entertainment, distance learning classes, more resources for elementary, high school, and college students, increased access for businesses, and the option for homeowners to work from home for increased business growth and productivity. Across the country, homeowners with fiber optic access have also experienced an expected 3% increase in overall home value.

Since mainline construction has now been completed, customers can learn more or consider signing up by contacting DFT Communications’ fiber hotline at 716-673-3931.

ABOUT DFT COMMUNICATIONS

Founded in 1898 in Arthur R. Maytum’s grocery store, DFT has been serving Western New York for 121 years. DFT Communications is a family of companies linking neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend and business to business.

Over the past 121 years, we’ve updated equipment, expanded services and added subscribers. DFT Communications and Netsync offer residential and business Internet Service, Digital Phone Service, Business Telephone Systems, Security Systems and Wireless Communications. DFT has proven itself as a premier service provider in Chautauqua County and throughout Western New York and parts of Pennsylvania. You can learn more about the services offered by DFT Communications at www.DFTCommunications.com.

ABOUT CCIDA

The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, and visit. The organization facilitates development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention by our businesses. For more information visit www.ccida.com