businesses are already expressing interest in connecting to the town’s
fiber-optic network, currently under construction at sites throughout the
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
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.”
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.
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.
also awarded a contract, not to exceed $37,268, for construction inspection
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
By unanimous votes,
members elected Jeff Trout to the presidency, Nick Walding to the
vice-presidency, and Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela to the secretariat.