The voters of Waterloo, Iowa have spoken, and by an overwhelming margin they have given the green light to a key financial component for their planned municipal fiber utility.
At issue in yesterday's referendum was whether or not the City of Waterloo should issue $20 million in general obligation bonds to help finance the planned $110 million fiber-to-the-home network. The City had already committed $9 million in funds from their American Recover Plan Act (ARPA) allocation toward the project. 84% of the voters in Tuesday's referendum said YES to the bond issue, which required 60% to pass. As a result, the network will lower overall interest costs by using some GO bonds, although city leaders say taxes will not need to be used to make those bond payments as revenues from the sale of services will be sufficient. City leaders say the project would still have proceeded even with the bond issue passage, but would have raised interest costs over the term of the financing.
The remainder of the funding for the project - approximately $80 million - will come from the sale of revenue bonds backed by the Waterloo Communications Utility.
Waterloo, Iowa will be the 29th city in Iowa to build a municipal communications utility. It will also become the largest city in Iowa served by municipal communications.
Iowa communities with municipal telecom (in alphabetical order)
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