BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – City officials want a fiber optics company with plans to run cabling through the city to reconsider the route of installation.
At Monday’s regular meeting of the West Point City Council, City Administrator Dennis McGregor gave the council an update of the request from a technology service company called Aureon of West Des Moines.
McGregor said the company wants to install the cable coming in from the north on Hwy. 103, run in front of Dollar General to Fourth Street, and then head north underground to a tower north of West Point.
“We’re not real pleased with the route they’ve selected,” McGregor said. “So we’re gonna meet with them yet this month to talk about the path.”
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Mayor Paul Walker said he was concerned about the route because the city had just put in new roads and sidewalks.
“We’d just as soon they go down 2nd or 3rd Streets all the way to the north,” Walker said.
The fiber optic cable is needed to help connect towers in West Point, Franklin, and Pilot Grove. McGregor said at some point another company could come in to possibly allow local companies to connect to the cable, but that’s something down the road. McGregor said that’s the reasoning behind the proposed route so it would be closer and cheaper for local businesses to hook up to the cabling.
City Councilman Brian Meierotto said having the cable along that route could also cause problems for the city if they need to access those easements with the cable underground.
McGregor said the installation could open a minimal franchise fee that would be paid to the city, but he said they could possibly entice Aureon to move the route.
“It’s not a lot of money, maybe $500 the first year and $250 per year after that for the next five years. But we could consider possibly waiving that fee if they would look at changing the path they want to use,” he said.
He said the company wanted to start construction right away, but they have agreed to come in and speak with city officials first.
In other action, the city council held a public hearing on annexing property to allow the Dollar General to be annexed into the city on the west side. In addition to the property the retail outlet sits on, the city also had to annex a 20-foot strip of land that was between the Dollar General currently under construction and current city limits. The move now goes to the Lee County Auditor’s office for approval and will be on the city’s next agenda for final approval.