Kent woods to get cable

(Original publication: December 17, 2004)

KENT — Hortontown and Hortontown Hill roads in Kent feature deep woods, boulder-strewn hillsides and rock-filled streams. What the roads lack is coaxial cable strung from the neighborhood's utility poles, leaving residents without the option of cable television or cable Internet service more than 20 years after most parts of town got cable.

Residents soon may be tethered to such offerings after the Town Board's approval this week of an agreement to bring cable south from Dutchess County. Such a move would bypass the barrier long presented by the Taconic State Parkway, which slices off the town's northwest corner from the rest of the municipality.

"It doesn't make me happy until I get the cable," said Jim Kramer, a Hortontown Hill Road resident.

The dependency on a slow, dial-up phone line for his Internet access leaves his son at a disadvantage when doing Web-based research for school, said Kramer, 53. For him, it has become a cruel joke he faces every day because he works for an Internet hosting and engineering company in Hawthorne.

"It will be much more productive," said Kramer, who has lived on Hortontown Hill Road since 1988, which, he said, was "before anybody knew what the Internet was."

SusCom became Kent's cable provider earlier this year after it acquired the cable system from the RCN Corp. Those tucked away on the other side of the Taconic, though, will be looking north to Cablevision, which serves East Fishkill. The lines, Kent Supervisor William Tulipane said, come right to the town's northern border and will be extended to the approximately 25 homes in the area.

"This is for those families west of the Taconic that have been denied cable for so long," Tulipane said. "They've been banging on my door."

The general manager of SusCom in Carmel said the arrangement was good for the town and those living on the far side of the parkway. Unlike other areas near the parkway, the Hortontown Road section is without a bridge to carry the wires. In Putnam Valley, for example, telephone lines, cable and other conduits run through the underpass formed by the parkway as it crosses Peekskill Hollow Road.

"That's really worked out pretty well," said Bob Burns of SusCom, referring to the Kent-Cablevision agreement. "We couldn't go over, under or around (the parkway.)"

Burns said SusCom was working to make sure the remainder of Kent's 14,009 residents have cable available to them. The only other remaining cable-free pocket, he said, is the Sedgewood Club off Route 301. The club is a development of about 80 single-family homes surrounding China and Barrett ponds, a number of which are weekend and summer residences.

"I've made a commitment to Mr. Tulipane that Sedgewood would be wired by June 30 of 2005," Burns said.

Tulipane said a similar timetable applied to the Hortontown Road effort.

Reach Michael Risinit at or 845-228-2274. Reach Michael Risinit at or 845-228-2274.


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005