June 2 vote for municipal broadband in Leverett will make selling homes there easier Reply

The town of Leverett is a quiet community with a population of about 2,000 consisting of an eclectic mix of farmers, artisans, teachers, students, lumbermen, and professionals.

Selling homes in Leverett is about to get easier as the community approved a $3.6 million investment at their Annual Town Meeting to have broadband internet service brought to every home.  A lack of broadband in communities like Leverett is a deterrent for many home buyers who like an idyllic setting, but still need access to news and information.

Leverett is a small community of about 2,000 people abutting the livelier town of Amherst, MA and the Five Colleges area (UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Smith College, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College).

According to the Leverett town website, the community’s population consists of an eclectic mix of farmers, artisans, teachers, students, lumbermen, and professionals.

The Town Meeting vote passed the broadband proposal handily with 306 in favor and only 33 against, but it has been reported that the measure still needs to pass Proposition 2.5 debt exclusion override on June 2.  This will allow the town to fund the project by increasing property taxes, which will be about $300 for a property valued at $278,000.

According to an April 18 article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Leverett Broadband Committee, the $3.6 million dollar price tag will result in savings for residents who use broadband.  This is because residents will save on monthly internet and phone bills.

The Gazette reported:

“But residents who receive Internet and phone service via satellite would pay $888 less annually by switching from private to town telecommunication service, according to the committee. A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) customer would save $426 annually on their service, and those who receive wireless Internet service via a signal transmitted by a telecommunication tower would save $768, according to the committee’s figures.”

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