Vinton has begun the task of exploring options for the next phase of the fiber optics project.

The Vinton Municipal Electric Utilities Board has appointed a committee to begin research into the various aspects of the proposed broadband utilities.

The group will put together recommendations to VMEU and hope to have enough available information to bring to the public after the first of the year.

Right now everything is still in the planning stages, but things are moving along well.

A meeting of the VMEU advisory committee was held at the beginning of November led by the chairman of this committee, Kim Meyer.

Discussions took place regarding the Farr Tech update. Farr Tech’s update provided information on the financial assumptions, business model, next steps, and the business risks.

Michael Maloney of D. A. Davidson and Curtis Dean of SmartSource Consulting were present and shared with the group details of what has been taking place within the State of Iowa regarding past and present municipal communications utilities. The presentation provided background information that has previously been presented to the VMEU Board over the past two years to help the committee members get up to speed on what has already been considered and discussed.

The goals of using multiple partnerships were discussed as ways to reduce costs and lower risks. Maloney suggested that now would be the appropriate time to engage bond counsel to determine what VMEU could legally be able to invest and/or loan the communications utility.

Farr Tech provided a project update describing what the field staff and CAD office staff had been doing. Farr field staff will soon be starting final staking and measurements for mainline cable and residential drops. This will require in many cases the need to do an inspection on the outside of the house or business to locate existing electric meter or existing telephone service.

Marketing activities were also discussed with the committee highly recommending this take place after bids for the project have been received. A marketing plan will be developed to coincide with the information obtained when bids are received, financing is firmed up and pricing for services can be accurately determined.