Vienna Community Resilience Workshop - Nov. 28, 2023, 7pm

GrowSmart Maine is working with the Town of Vienna to enroll the town in the Community Resilience Partnership. As a part of this process, all interested residents and partners are invited to a Community Resilience Workshop on Tuesday 28 November at 7pm at the Vienna Community Center. The purpose of the workshop is to review Vienna's Community Resilience self-assessment results and prioritize community actions for possible grant funding and implementation. Please feel free to share this email with other residents you believe would be interested in participating.
Draft Agenda:
7pm - Introduction to the Community Resilience Partnership 
7.15pm - Review of Vienna Self-Assessments
7.45pm - Discussion of Priority Community Actions
8.30am - Next steps
Please see the two draft self-assessments attached. To make sure we capture relevant information and knowledge, feel free to send me any comments or additional information you think should be included by Wednesday 22 November so that we have a final draft by the 28th. For inspiration, I have also attached two documents outlining projects that have received funding through the Community Resilience Partnership in the past.
Need transportation to the workshop? Contact Neighbors Driving Neighbors in due time to request a ride.
Unable to attend in person but would like to listen in? Zoom link:
The Community Resilience Partnership funds projects that reduce energy use and costs and/or make communities more resilient to severe weather and changing environments. The grants are given directly to communities enrolled in the partnership with no match required. To enroll, a community must meet three criteria: adopting a resolution of commitment, completing a pair of self-assessments, and holding a community workshop to prioritize initial climate resilience and clean energy actions.


Grant awards are up to $50,000 for each municipality or up to $125,000 when two or more communities’ partner on a project. These funds can be used as a match for other grants. Grants applications are usually due in March and September. Categories of project types that require no match are:

  • Transportation
  • Plan for Community  Resilience
  • Building Design
  • Reduce Flood Risk
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas  Emissions
  • Protect Natural/Working Areas
  • Strengthen Public Health
  • Support Natural Resource Economy
  • Public Engagement
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. 
I hope to see you at the Vienna Community Center on the 28th.

Planning Board Meeting - August 23, 2023


At 6:30 PM regular members Waine Whittier, Alan Williams, Creston Gaither, and Ed Lawless made site visits to the Greg Briggs parcel on Kimball Pond Road and to the Angela Bell parcel on Jesse Ladd Road.

They conducted the regular meeting at the Town House beginning at 7:15 PM. Also present were Ridgely Fuller and Wally Seymour. Minutes of the July 26 meeting were read and accepted.

Ridgely Fuller would like to expand the existing A-Frame on her island. Shown on tax map 10 as lot 101. It is 50 feet from high water mark. She was advised that no expansion can be any closer to the water. The Shoreland Zoning Ordinance rules for expansion of non-conforming structures were reviewed and outlined. A site visit and a permit would be required if she moves the existing structure.

Wally Seymour had a site visit and a permit in 2021 for a project at 44 Vienna Shores Road which was never begun, involving a garage and a shed. His existing camp is only 30’ to 50’ from the water; he would like to expand it. The SZO suggests that he could perhaps expand it by 30% as it predates January 1, 1989. The proposed garage may include some plumbing. He would like the Board to reissue his 2021 permit. Relying on the site visit and findings of fact made in 2021 it was voted 4 – 0 to reissue the permit. Wally will email a copy of the 2021 SSWD permit to Creston. He will contact Waine to arrange a site visit for the camp expansion.

Regarding Greg Briggs’ proposal as outlined on the sketch he provided on site, based on its site visit and the sketch and on Greg’s verbal representations, and a subsequent review of the pertinent flood hazard map, the Board concluded that this project:

  1. Will maintain safe and healthful conditions;
  2. Will not result in water pollution, erosion, or sedimentation to surface waters
  3. Will adequately provide for the disposal of all wastewater;
  4. Will not have an adverse impact on spawning grounds, fish, aquatic life, bird or other wildlife habitat;
  5. Will conserve shore cover and visual, as well as actual, points of access to inland waters;
  6. Will protect archaeological and historic resources as designated in the comprehensive plan;
  7. Will avoid problems associated with floodplain development and use; and
  8. Is in conformance with the provisions of Section 15, Land Use Standards.

The Board then voted 4 – 0 to authorize Creston to issue the usual permit by letter for this proposal.

Regarding the shed observed during the Board’s visit to the Angela Bell site, the Board made Findings of Fact as listed above and voted 4 – 0 to authorize Creston to issue a permit for the shed. He will advise her that she should seek a new permit for a house should she still wish to build one.

Jon Vigneault’s email of today was reviewed. The Board will seek to coordinate his site visit with that for Wally Seymour mentioned above.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM

Creston Gaither, secretary

Broadband August 29, 2023 Informational meeting - Questions & Answers

Notes taken from the informational broadband meeting held on 8/29/2023 in regards to questions asked. 

#1) It would be helpful to learn anything that is known about how the rollout will happen for the pole-to-home installations. Is there a plan for which roads are on what part of the project timeline? It will help navigate upcoming service renewal contracts with current ISPs.

-Timeline: yes and no. The project will roll out from the central office which will be located at the Vienna Fire Department/Community Room. The start date is dependent upon the pole “Make Ready”  which is dependent upon Consolidated Communications and CMP to finish any necessary pole updates, line moves, pole replacements. Once they have finished, the expected project is expected to be completed in 9 months.  *Please see the Standard Installation Guidelines  for new Fiber Optic Internet Service posted on the website.

#2) Once the fiber is installed, who/how will be able to get the fiber to the house? Is the resident responsible for that? If so, how much do you expect that might cost? Is there anything else we need to do on our end?

-There are 3 ways:

          A.  Serviced by the existing utility pole. (This is free to the homeowner)

          B.  Underground; An access to a conduit that is NOT being used for electrical. (This is  free to the homeowner)

          C. Lay it on the ground to be buried by the property owner at their cost /can be done at a later date.

#3)  If we are not here when the install is ready, how is this accomplished? Do they install a box to the outside of your house and then when you come up you arrange for the install?

-You can authorize someone else to be your representative at the time of  interior installation (inside the home) no one needs to be present for exterior work done.  (You will have to complete an authorization form for this to happen).

#4) What are the specs of the trench for the wires - for those with underground wires to their homes.

-Contact Lisa at Axiom for diagrams of underground trenches.  -Lines should be buried 2 feet, however, get it under the ground so it is not caught by your lawnmower, etc…

#5) Cost of installation if done during the sign up period and cost of installation if done later.

- Installation is free during the time of the Broadband build.  It is $299.00 after.

#6) What are the monthly costs?

-Pricing: Check website for updated pricing

            -100/100Mbps  $59.99

            -250/250Mbps  $64.99

            -500/500 Mbps $109.99

           Seasonal:  (May 01  - November 01)

      *Seasonal pricing is a 15% Discount from the yearly cost. No internet is provided through  the winter.

            -100/100Mbps   $611.99- Annually

            -250/250Mbps   $662.99-Annually

            -500/500Mbps   $1,121.99-Annually

#7) Will we still have Consolidated Communications for internet service?

-If you choose;  Consolidated Communications  will continue to offer service; however, they will not use the Town’s fiber optic cables. Therefore, you will continue to receive the same quality service they currently offer.

#8) Can I still qualify for the internet discount I qualify for now?
-Yes.  You may go to the application and change the provider.

#9) Will it work in all kinds of weather?

- Yes.   Fiber is passive and is pulses of light which are not affected by distance and  weather.

#10) Will it cost me more than my small Social Security check that is pretty much all I am living on?

The government offers the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) see:

            -There are 50/10 solutions. $30.00 if qualified by the Government.

#11) Will there be a way to shut the service down for the summer for seasonal folks?   Consolidated does this, charging a reduced fee to maintain the account/service.  We understand that not all providers do this, but it’s pretty common.

-Yes and No.  Refer to Pricing- Seasonal Rates from question #6.

#12) Will the monthly cost increase after the initial period (i.e. a year or so)?  If so, what are those fees predicted to be and when would they increase?

-This is the price. There has been no increase and there are none anticipated within the next 4 +/- years.

#13)  Will installation be available during the summer months for seasonal residents?

-Free installation  during “roll out”.  While the lines are being installed. If service is hooked up after, it will be a $299.00 installation fee. Seasonal residents- please see question #6  for seasonal rates. To avoid unnecessary installation fees, you must have someone at your home to let an Axiom representative into the home to complete installation within the home. (See authorization form on the Axiom website).

#14) While the ground isn’t frozen, I think I’ll look into having a conduit installed underground from the pole to my house in anticipation of the fiber cable. Do you think Axiom or members of the Broadband committee might know who does this work in the Vienna area?… just any electrician, perhaps?

-Yes. Anyone can install conduit.

#15) Will my DSL connection still operate after fiber installation until I terminate service with Consolidated Communications?


#16) Can any existing WiFi router brand/model be used with the fiber connection?

- No. The router needs to be wifi 6 compatible.  You can lease a router from Axiom for $7.50 monthly.  You cannot purchase a router from Axiom.  If you choose to lease an Axiom router, this allows Axiom to check and work on your router. If you choose to purchase your own router somewhere else,  Axiom will NOT be able to help you with your router troubleshooting and any other router issues.

#17) If Axiom is limited to 270 homes for free installation during the construction phase (per the Installation Guide), and if demand exceeds 270, how will eligibility be determined for getting free installation? First come first served?

-Yes.  First come,  First Served. The 270 number is higher than the initial expected take rate.

#18)  When will subscriptions begin?

-It is anticipated to start taking subscriptions in November 2023.

#19)  What will be done for underground connections or other possibilities to get service to our cottage rather than running another fiber all the way there.  It is about 1/2 mile from our house, mostly through the woods.

-On the ground or wirelessly,  any building on your tax map may share service.

#20)  The grant was awarded in January 2023. The Federal and State authorities delayed distribution
of grant funds and therefore our project while they revised the contractual language governing
the grant. Has the contract for the grant now been signed? If not, why not?

-No. We are waiting for the Government to finalize the wording. Once it has been finalized, it will need to be reviewed by the Town Lawyer and Selectboard.

#21)  The article passed at the special town meeting included a budget based on a grant of about $1.8
million. The actual grant was awarded at $2.2 million. What is the revised budget for the

-Current budget is 2.6 Million.

#22) It has been nearly a year since the special town meeting. Have the material and construction
costs for the project been updated to reflect any increases that Vienna will have to pay?

-No increases are expected at this time except possible increase from pole anchors as guidelines are  constantly being changed.

#23)  Has the contract with Axiom been signed? If not, why not?

- No,  both contracts are expected to be signed within the next few weeks. We are still waiting for the Government to finalize the wording of the contract.

#24)  Has the make ready pole survey by the utilities been started? If not, why not?

-No.  Contracts need to be signed before CMP or Consolidated Communications can start.

#25)  What is the revised installation schedule for the project?

-Contracts are expected to be signed within the next few weeks.  At that time, CMP and Consolidated Communications will start the “Make Ready” process which is expected to take up to 6 months. An additional 4-6 months will be taken to put lines to poles. Then drops from poles to homes will be done. All should be completed by the end of 2024 unless the 6 month pole process takes longer (as it has in other communities).

Other questions asked at the meeting:

    A. How do you initiate contact with Axiom?

   -Call Axiom at 271-2801.  Axiom will start making a list of customers beginning in November 2023.

   B. What are the 1st Steps in this project?

  -CMP and Consolidated Communications have 6 months from contract signing to perform the “Make Ready”.   Timeline is 6 months for “Make Ready”,  4-6 months for the line construction, and then they will do the drops to the homes.

    C. What if there are service issues?
Contact Axiom. They will first work with you on the telephone. If unable to correct issues during the phone call. A local representative will come out to assess the situation. If they are unable to find a solution. Axiom will roll out a truck from Machias Maine.

     D.   How deep do you need to bury the conduit line?

              -Lines should be buried 2 feet, however, get it under the ground so it is not caught by your lawnmower, etc…

     E.  Will Phone/Television services be available?

    - Axiom offers phone services at $29.99 per month however,  it is suggested you use other providers as they may offer more services at a lesser price.  Magic Jack is available for $50.00 per year.

   -TV-  Axiom does NOT offer TV.   There are other options for homeowners such as, but not limited to, the following;  Smart TVs;  APPS: (HULU,  ROKU,  Disney+, ESPN), etc… See the FAQ list "How to I watch TV"  question at 

     F.  Is Broadband provided by air or by a box?

               -Broadband can be  provided through wifi or plugged directly into your router.

     G.  What is the process to upgrade/downgrade service?

     -Contact Axiom to have your service upgraded/downgraded as this is done from their office.

     H.  What brand and model does Axiom use for a router?

              -Axiom uses a wifi 6 compatible Adtran router. The model changes.

     I.  Is there a firewall provided and is it at the  home or HUB?

              -Yes.  Levels of security and firewalls are installed.

     J.  Will service be provided during power outages?

    -Yes.  Central office will have a backup-on demand generator.  Power at the home is dependent upon the homeowner.  There are battery backups for the modem. These are available from other vendors.

     K.   I currently have a router extender in my house. Will it continue to work?

               -Yes.  A google mesh system is recommended as it extends more Megabytes per second.

     L.  What if fiber optic cable goes across someone else’s property and who is responsible to repair costs to said cable?

               - If utilizing utility poles with right of way that is not a problem.

               - If running across another property owner’s land you will need to have permission from said property owner.

    - If damage is caused by malice,  the person who caused malice is financially responsible.  General maintenance is covered by Axiom.

    -It is recommended to “Flag” the location of the cable across the property.


Vienna Record: Aug-Sept 2023

View the Aug-Sept 2023 issue here

  • Announcement of Broadband informational meeting - Aug. 29, 7PM - Community Center/Fire Department
  • Selectmen's minutes: June 6, 2023 through July 25, 2023
  • Planning Board minutes: May 24, 2023 and June 28, 2023
  • Clerk: Closed Aug. 1; Second taxes due Sept. 30; Nov. 7 election
  • Dr. Shaw Memorial Library News: extended hours; free botanical garden passes; drop-in tech help
  • Fire Department News

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer