Minet announces expansion plans

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — The Monmouth-Independence Network Board of Directors approved on Friday a resolution regarding expanding services to Dallas.

The resolution authorizes “Minet’s general manager and Minet’s attorney to negotiate and enter into an agreement to operate and manage (American Fiber Optics’) new network within the city of Dallas … so long as there is a financial benefit to Minet and Minet is not financially responsible for costs associated with the construction, operation, maintenance, repair or replacement of the network.”

According to the document, Minet’s general manager must confirm that the Monmouth and Independence city councils approve the agreement between Minet and AFO.

The document states that Minet has “taken an entrepreneurial approach” on behalf of Monmouth and Independence, and Minet has “explored providing expanded service options to other communities” as early as 2008.

American Fiber Optics will construct and own the network and Minet will manage and operate the system, according to the resolution.

“AFO approached Minet about this opportunity because of Minet’s size, location, available capacity and expertise,” the resolution states.

The network’s construction, operation, maintenance, repair and replacement costs “will either be paid by AFO or with net revenues available from the operation of the new Network,” according to the document.

The city of Dallas published a public notice in the Itemizer-Observer last week regarding the expansion.

The notice stated that a revenue bond “not to exceed $23,500,000” would be used to build a fiber network in the city of Dallas.

“I do know that neither the city of Dallas or Minet are incurring any debt,” said Dallas City Manager Greg Ellis. “American Fiber Optic is working with (La Paz County) in Arizona.”

The debt would belong to La Paz or American Fiber Optic, he said.

“I would guess that the debt belongs to La Paz County and they would have a contract with American Fiber Optic to make the required payments,” Ellis said.

According to the notice, American Fiber Optic LLC is based in Arizona and its sole member is “Community Finance Corporation,” an Arizona 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The notice states a public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on July 16 in Dallas regarding revenue bonds “pursuant to a plan of finance in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $23,500,000.”

“There is a provision that there must be a public hearing in the city where the project is going to occur (in this case, Dallas),” Ellis said.

Dallas has scheduled and noticed their public meeting for July 16.

Click here for a link to the Independence City Council meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, July 9.

Click here for a link to the Monmouth City Council meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9.

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