Friday, November 21, 2008

Clarksville Taxpayer ALERT: costs double

for internet fiber to home project. This looks like a boondoggle in the making. Its very strange that the Leaf-Chronicle headlines this story in a way that completely misses the most important issue, the $50 million deficit for the fiber to home project.

At Wednesday's Power Board meeting, new Clarksville Department of Electricity President Rick Ingram told the board the utility needed about $50 million — in addition to an original $55 million bond issue — to complete the original fiber-to-the-home network envisioned by the utility.

In proposing a potential escape route, Ingram invited in representatives of the Community Communications Authority, which proposed building a $35 million wireless network to complete the utility's telecommunication project.

CCA officials said the utility could recoup its costs by increasing its current telecom offerings — including TV, Internet, and soon, phone — to include cellphone plans.

"We've not decided to get into the wireless," board member Wayne Abrams said. "This is something we're going to study."

"You don't just let somebody come in and do a presentation and sign a contract for $35 million," he said.