Chesterton Tribune



Businesses already expressing interest in fiber optic network

Back To Front Page



Chesterton businesses are already expressing interest in connecting to the town’s fiber-optic network, currently under construction at sites throughout the community.

At Monday’s meeting of the Redevelopment Commission, Thomas Carroll, senior vice-president of Nitco--the firm awarded the contract to operate, administer, and market the network--reported that media coverage of the project is generating a great deal of excitement among future customers.

“We’re getting a lot of response from business owners in the community, from the groundbreaking last week and from what they’ve seen in the papers,” Carroll told the commission. It’s beginning to build and I think we’re going to continue to see more exposure.”

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, for his part, said that the town “has been getting calls from potential customers and we’re referring them to Nitco.”

Construction of the network began late last year, after the commission inked agreements with Nitco, headquartered in Hebron, to operate it; and with CSU Inc. of Plainfield, Ind., to build the 13.8-mile mainpath network.

Under its agreement with the commission, the town is responsible for the cost of constructing the network’s initial fiber-optic backbone--at a contract price of $1,233,673.91--and will own the infrastructure itself.

Nitco, on the other hand--which will serve as operator for a 25-year period, with options to renew for two additional 10-year periods--will be responsible for the cost of installing all lateral legs to reach both commercial and residential customers with Internet, voice, and television services.

Nitco will also be responsible for maintaining, repairing, and upgrading the network, for all marketing, technical support, operation, billing, and collection, and any bad debts will be that firm’s sole responsibility and loss.

Nitco will pay the town a percent of the gross revenue each quarter: 7.5 percent of non-residential services over the first 25 years; 3.75 percent of residential services; and 7.5 percent of any recurring fees paid by other municipalities.

The commission undertook the fiber-optic project with the express intention of boosting economic development in town, of making Chesterton an attractive location for businesses to move to and open in, and Member Jeff Trout has said that he fully expects the network “to be a game-changer for Chesterton for many years to come.”

Fiber-optic Update

As of Monday, CSU had installed nearly 40,000 linear feet of fiber-optic conduit at multiple cites throughout town: along 200E, Dickinson Road, Village Point in Coffee Creek Center, and East Porter Ave. as far east as the Easton Park subdivision. Crews are now working in the Chesterton High School neighborhood, O’Dell reported.

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve the first pay application submitted by CSU in the amount of $199,112. A retainage of 10 percent is being held back pending the completion of the work.

Members also voted unanimously to approve a construction inspection contract, not to exceed $7,275, with Lawson-Fisher Associates of South Bend.

East Porter Ave.

Box Culvert Project

In other business, members voted unanimously to authorize O’Dell to go out to bid on Jan. 26 for construction of the box culvert which will replace the bridge over Sand Creek on East Porter Ave.

A special meeting will be held at 6:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, to open bids and take them under advisement, while the contract will be awarded at the commissioner’s regularly scheduled Feb. 26 meeting.

Lawson-Fisher was also awarded a contract, not to exceed $37,268, for construction inspection services.

London Witte Agreement

Members voted unanimously as well to enter into an accounting services contract, not to exceed $10,000, with London Witte Group.

As part of that contract, London Witte will provide reports to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance and to prepare a five-year financial outlook for the commission, with the brief of reviewing tax increment financing revenues projected to be available for new capital and infrastructure projects going forward.

2018 Officers

By unanimous votes, members elected Jeff Trout to the presidency, Nick Walding to the vice-presidency, and Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela to the secretariat.





Posted 1/24/2018




Search This Site:

Custom Search