After years of advocacy by residents and careful study, a community-owned fiber network in Vinton, Iowa is finally moving forward.
On March 12th, the Vinton Municipal Electric Utility Board of Trustees, which also serves as the governing board for the communications utility authorized by voters in late 2015, voted 5-0 to approve bids totalling approximately $6.5 million for the FTTP project. Overall bids came in just under the original engineer's estimates.
Nearly 40 Vinton citizens attended the Board meeting, despite a winter storm that raged outside and closed major roads into and out of town. There were lots of smiling faces when the Board's unanimous vote was cast, followed quickly by excited determination to get started on all of the many tasks needed to bring the network online by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
The bids were accepted contingent to final financing details, which are expected to be wrapped up over the next several weeks. Central Cable Contractors will be the lead contractor for the outside plant. Construction is expected to begin in early summer, with the goal to have most of the feeder & distribution network completed by the end of year.
The Indianola Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees has approved construction bids for a project to complete the community's FTTP network.
The low construction bid for the feeder and distribution network (not including service drops) from Excel Utility Contractors of St. James, Missouri was accepted by the Board, subject to financing. Excel's bid of $3.75 million was less than the engineer's estimate of $4.97 million from NewCom Technologies. IMU's FTTP network will be 90% underground and 10% aerial.
Also accepted were materials bids from several vendors for a total amount of $1.28 million, which was also below the engineer's estimate of $1.42 million.
Construction of the network is expected to begin this summer, with the feeder and distribution network completion late this year. The IMU Board will consider a combination of taxable and tax-exempt bond issues to finance the project at their June meeting.
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