Rock Falls signs agreement for broadband services

ROCK FALLS – The city got some help with its broadband expansion Tuesday night. The Rock Falls City Council voted 7-0, with Alderman Brian Snow absent, to approve an agreement with Internet Services Provider Network Inc. to provide help desk, engineering, and other services for the city’s broadband department. The agreement with the Lenexa, Kansas, company provides a price structure for services the city will pay for, including a £10 per incident charge for help desk services, £2.50 per user for 24-7 server solutions with technical support, £500 per month for network monitoring, and a £2,000 monthly block rate for engineering support.

The help desk and server solution services have a monthly £1,000 minimum. The engineering services will start no later than Friday, while the other services will start no later than Feb.

1. City Clerk Eric Arduini said the city also let bids Monday for fiber optic expansion where the network isn’t already in place.

“We’re looking at council approval on a bid next year,” Arduini said. The council has authorized the city to use up to £5.3 million in its first bond issuance for the broadband buildout, with the first part being done mainly to cover businesses in the areas of First Avenue and U.S. Route 30, as well as the Interstate 88 corridor, The bonds also will cover the utility’s first 3 years of operating expenses.

Signups for broadband customers won’t open until the infrastructure is in place, Arduini said. Riverfront redevelopment The council also voted to approve an £85,000 interfund transfer from a utilities office operating fund to the general fund, to help defray about £181,000 in expenses for demolition of the Limestone Building.

The fund has built up a reserve over the past 2 decades, with money contributed annually from each utilities department. Typically, it’s used for things like emergency equipment repairs or replacements, but department heads decided instead to put the money toward the riverfront redevelopment project. City Administrator Robbin Blackert said last month that the department heads “see the value in getting all of this land ready for development.”

The fund transfer will help reimburse the city for what’s already been paid.

The council also voted to abate £146,650 in taxes on bonds issued in August 2016 to help pay for projects in the downtown tax increment financing district at the RB&W District Riverfront Park.

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