As of Tuesday, June 26, 2018
INDEPENDENCE/MONMOUTH — Few details of a potential expansion of the Monmouth-Independence Network have been disclosed, but the city of Dallas published a notice of public hearing in today’s Itemizer-Observer.
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.
Monmouth City Manager Scott McClure declined to state how Minet became involved with the Arizona company.
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.”
According to the notice, proceeds of the bond “will be used to: (a) finance or refinance the costs of the acquisition, construction and equipping of a fiber optic cable network and related facilities to be located in the city; (b) fund a reserve fund for the bonds; (c) pay capitalized interest on the bonds; (d) pay start-up and working capital costs and expenses for the initial period of operation of the network; (e) fund an operating reserve fund and a major maintenance and repair fund for the network; and (f) pay the costs of issuing the bonds.”
“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.
McClure said that Minet will approve the agreement at its next board meeting, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on June 29 in the Minet Situation Room, 405 Hogan Road N, Monmouth.
The next step will be to have public hearings at Monmouth and Independence city council meetings, which McClure said are tentatively scheduled for July 9. Those meetings are not yet listed on the websites for either city.
He added that Minet plans to release more details on July 3 or 4.
According to the notice, “the intended starting point of the network is the headened office located at 988 Southeast Jefferson St., in Dallas,” the former RadioShack building.
The city and Minet are in the process of establishing a contract for the company’s use of the building.
“We are still negotiating a few of the items in the Radio Shack building agreement,” Ellis said.
In response to a public records request from the I-O, Ellis said he would send a copy when they received a final version of the document.
The network will import the “triple play services that are provided through a contractual arrangement with Minet,” according to the notice.
McClure said he could not yet release a copy of the contract because they are dealing with a private company and that because of that, the contract may be redacted when they do release it.