By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Grayson will soon be a “fiber city” after a motion to accept a contract, with an amended map, from Kinetic by Windstream. That contract defines the company’s build agreement with Kinetic for the extension of fiber-optic lines to every neighborhood inside city limits. The original contract presented to the city didn’t include some neighborhoods that are fully within city limits. The final contract agreed upon last Tuesday did include all homes within city limits.
The city had agreed to a contract with Windstream/Kinetic during their previous monthly meeting, but that contract had to be amended to include those properties not included in the original mapping. Because of public comment on the project, Mayor George Steele asked the Kinetic representatives to describe again what the city would be getting for their $250,000 contribution to the infrastructure project.
Tim Williamson, director of operations for Kinetic, explained that the upgrade would include battery back-ups, and a switch from copper infrastructure to fiber, even for homes that choose not to upgrade their service right away. If they choose to upgrade at some point, he said, the infrastructure will already be in place for them. It also means that anyone who is currently using a lower level of service will automatically be boosted to a service that is as fast as the fastest plan currently offered by Windstream on copper lines.
The maximum speed offered with current lines is 200 megabits per second (Mbps), and the lowest level plan you can get is 25 Mbps. The new fiber service plans will start at 200 Mbps and be offered at 300 Mbps, 500 Mbps, and 1 gigabit – the highest speed currently available.
“It’s the fastest that out there to this point,” Williamson explained.
The new infrastructure being put into place, however, will be able to handle speeds of up to 10 gigs as the tech develops to move data that quickly.
Though they would like to trade out all of their copper infrastructure for fiber, Williamson said, no one will be forced to convert to a more expensive plan. There will be promotions, however, to “encourage the switch,” he said.
He said this is the first time the company has done this sort of project in Kentucky, but they came to Grayson because they put out a request for pricing on fiber and Windstream answered that request.
“This is not a cash cow for us,” Williamson said, noting that the project “will end here” if the city didn’t agree to move forward.
Council voted unanimously to approve a motion to accept the contract with the amended map on a roll-call vote.
In other action, the city took the next step in developing an animal control officer position. Council reviewed and discussed a draft ordinance to establish the position and define its duties, but took no action on the ordinance at this time. Instead, they moved to establish a committee to help define the role. That committee will include city council members Jerry Yates, Troy Combs, and Bradley Cotten, and emergency management co-director Joanne Dunfee.
Council also moved to adopt a resolution approving the FIVCO Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan and a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state transportation cabinet on the Robert and Mary Street sidewalk drainage project. The project could include the removal of some trees and special drainage considerations, but should help address issues related with clogs in the current drainage system. Under the agreement, which is part of the Grayson Pedestrian Network Project sidewalk building program, requires the city to be responsible for maintaining the drainage basins once constructed, as well as the maintenance of the sidewalk, and any vegetation areas.
Council also accepted department reports and approved a recommendation by Emergency Management to advertise for bids to purchase a generator for use by the police and fire stations. Emergency Management originally intended to purchase the generator with a grant, but was unsuccessful in securing that funding source. Instead, the city will use funds they will be reimbursed by FEMA for ice storm and flood damages to fund the purchase. The generator will be located between the police and fire station, where it can be used to power both buildings in the case of a weather emergency resulting in a power outage.
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