A plan to expand the availability of fiber optic cable in Wabash County is continuing to move forward. The proposal received approval this week from county commissioners and will now move to the Wabash County Redevelopment Commission for a public hearing. May 23, 2014

Excerpt From Economic Development Group of Wabash County Inc.'s May Newsletter

WABASH COUNTY, Ind. – The possibility of having fiber optic cable available throughout Wabash County is nearing a reality after Wabash County Commissioners gave the project the green light Monday.

Commissioners approved a resolution at the request of Bill Konyha, President and CEO of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County, who said the goal is to give the entire county access to high speed Internet.

The Wabash County Redevelopment Commission previously approved a declaratory resolution to create a Fiber Optic Development Area throughout the county. The area would enable the establishment of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to facilitate the expansion or extension of fiber optic cable in public rights of way anywhere in Wabash County, according to Konyha.

“The next step after Commissioners' approval is to go back to the Redevelopment Commission for a public hearing,” Konyha explained. “We'll prepare a tax impact statement to be mailed to every jurisdiction with overlapping taxing authority, which includes everyone in Wabash County except the City of Wabash and North Manchester. “The statement will be sent to all the schools, township trustees, libraries and anyone else covered by this so they can see the impacts of a TTF district,” he continued. “(Wabash County) REMC wants to take advantage of TIF to bring fiber optics to the county.”

“Konyha explained that if the public hearing goes well, a confirmatory resolution by the Redevelopment Commission is the next step. We'll finally be done after that,” he said, adding that the new Economic Development Area would then be formed, including all the unincorporated areas of Wabash County, as well as LaFontaine, Largo, and Roann.

Wabash County Commissioners invested $100,000 in County Economic Development income Tax funds more than a year ago to match MetroNet's investment of nearly $1 million to extend fiber optics to LaFontaine. “We'll focus on the CEDIT grant after this is resolved,” Konyha said.

Source: Economic Development Group of Wabash County Inc.

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