After a 40-minute closed session during last week’s meeting, the Centerville City Council voted unanimously for city attorney Lisa Romney to draft the final version of an agreement that would establish a city-owned telecommunications hub and website on the city’s west side. Romney will also be working on an agreement for the city to buy a UTOPIA building already located on the west side.
Romney said that final draft documents for the agreement, which would result in the hub being leased to UTOPIA and any other interested service provider, will be ready for public release very soon.
After this happens, Centerville will share details of the agreements with UTOPIA and other service providers, as well as schedule a public hearing to get resident feedback on those agreements.
The hub, which would be located in the yard of the Parks Maintenance Building on the city’s west side, would have its inner cage divided into sperate areas that could be used by the different agencies. The conduit under I-15 would utilize an old drainage pipe that will also eventually house other utilities.
Current rough estimates put the cost of the project at about $80,000, with another $20,000 for the conduit. Centerville Financial Director Blaine Lutz said that refining those estimates, and getting into the finer details of the project, will be the focus of the upcoming round of analysis.
Centerville officials are taking their time double and triple-checking these current agreements due to a letter Qwest sent to the city last fall, saying that Centerville’s earlier idea about helping speed UTOPIA’s entry into Centerville with an RDA loan would violate state and federal laws as well as court agreements.
“By making the hub available to more than just UTOPIA, we feel that we’re staying in the legal framework of the state and federal settlement agreement,” said Centerville City Manager Steve Thacker.
Thacker also added that allowing UTOPIA to lease space in the hub site would allow it to connect to approximately $2 million worth of stranded fiber optic cable already in the ground in Centerville.