Fiber Optic Project Moving Ahead 25 Apr 12

The Sibley County Board Tuesday unanimously voted to move forward with the Renville-Sibley Fiber Project.

The proposal to bring fiber optic phone, internet and television to the rural and urban areas of Sibley County was tabled last month until a 55% rate of support from county residents was achieved. That threshold has been reached, and Sibley County Economic Development Director Tim Dolan says the numbers are even higher in rural areas. Dolan says the numbers from the rural areas have doubled in the past 2 weeks.

The county board vote today was to move forward with securing financing for the $70-million project through bonding. A final approval vote will then take place within about 90 days. The City of Arlington is the only community to opt out of the project, but the county board today voted to possibly include the Sibley Medical Center and Sibley East campuses in Arlington in the project.

Sibley East Superintendent Stephen Jones told the board that the district supports the move because technology is moving at an increasingly rapid pace. Henderson votes on the project Wednesday night, and the Renville-Sibley Joint Powers Board then meets on Thursday to agree on moving forward with the bonding for the project.

All affected communities will get a final vote on the project once the financing is secured.