This post addresses three topics from my interviews this month with the American Fork City Council: short-term concerns about the overabundance of water, long-term concerns about having enough water for current needs and to sustain growth, and the effort to bring fiber optic connectivity to the entire city, including homes and businesses the major telecom providers have declined to serve.
(Insert your own joke about [water-]soluble dietary fiber here. We’re not talking about that kind of fiber.)
Water, Water Everywhere!
I asked each member of the council what’s going on in the city just now, and they all mentioned water. The water is hard to miss, to be sure, especially if you’ve wandered down toward the harbor lately.
(And Who Am I to Write About It?)
American Fork, Utah, is considering establishing fiber optic service to every residence and business in the city as a public utility, as permitted by Utah Code 10-8-14. Here we’ll discuss the proposal itself, and I’ll tell you how I learned enough to write about it. (Teaser: I got a head start.) Later posts will address specific issues in more detail and attempt to answer related questions.
This proposal will not be a measure on the November ballot, though candidates may make it an issue in the 2019 municipal election. The city council will hold a preliminary vote, probably in mid-August, to put some things in place for a final city council vote in mid-November.
The August vote will not be whether to build the system or not. The November vote is the big one.
In the meantime, several public information meetings will be held — one already has been — to explain the proposal and answer questions (of which more soon).
The Fiber Proposal
Under the proposal, each residence in the city will pay a monthly fee as part of its utility bill. No additional fee will be required for basic service. The numbers in discussions I’ve attended have ranged from about $9.00 per month to about $12.00 per month for each residence. Flyers at the first public information meeting said $9.95 per month, but that’s still tentative.
Each business will also have a monthly fee, again on the City utility bill. The same flyers at the same meeting projected that at $19.95.
The current plan involves no installation or setup fee.