FIBER OPTIC UPDATE -
MORE GOOD NEWS
We recently announced the Town Board will be moving forward this spring with installation of high-speed Internet to every residence and business within the Town. The anticipated cost of the project is $1.2 million which will be paid with a loan taking two to three years to pay off. The project will result in no increase in the property tax levy, however some other projects, such as road repairs, would need to be temporality delayed.
We have since learned that the 50% grant we had applied for has been awarded. This will reduce the project loan to $600,000, thus also shortening the pay-back time and the delay of other projects.
Additionally, ChoiceTel has announced plans to double its installation crew size (at no additional cost to the project) enabling the project to be finished faster than originally estimated. Installation will begin around mid-May.
If all that isn't enough good news, we have also learned the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan recently signed by the President includes $10 billion for nationwide critical infrastructure work including broadband projects. Each state, territory and tribal government will be eligible for a specific allocation based on population. While the numbers are estimates at this point, it appears St. Germain will be eligible for approximately $200,000 to apply to our fiber optic installation contract. If that proves true, the cost to taxpayers of the $1.2 million project would be further reduced to around $400,000 with $800,000 coming from other sources.
The Fiber Optic Project page of the Town website provides more details about the project including answers to frequently asked questions.
Many residents and businesses have already pre-registered for ChoiceTel service to avoid delays when cable installation begins. Everyone wishing to take advantage of this great opportunity is encouraged to pre-register at https://choicetel.net/StGermain
We will continue to provide updates as this project mores forward.