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Local

Sycamore City Council hears fiber-optic company pitch

Council lauds capital improvement plan with no needed tax increases

A representative from Indiana-based fiber optic internet, TV and phone company, Metronet, pitched the Sycamore City Council Monday night.
A representative from Indiana-based fiber optic internet, TV and phone company, Metronet, pitched the Sycamore City Council Monday night.

SYCAMORE – A representative from Indiana-based fiber-optic internet, TV and phone company Metronet gave a pitch to the Sycamore City Council on Monday night.

“We believe competition is good for your residents,” said Kathy M. Scheller, a member of Metronet’s external affairs division. “This is the future.”

The fiber-optic company grew across Indiana before spreading to communities such as Plainfield and Oswego. It does not require contracts because company officials have faith that customers will stick with the product, and Metronet’s pricing is competitive, Scheller said.

Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory said a nonexclusive franchise agreement with the company would be the next item to come before the council, if the two parties agree to move forward. Metronet also is courting DeKalb officials.

The council also discussed a preliminary version of a three-year capital improvement program for the city during the Monday meeting in the council chambers of the Sycamore Center.

Gregory and council members stressed the importance of tax rates being maintained in the new plan.

“It’s a lot of infrastructure that’s coming forward and really setting us up for the future,” Gregory said. “We try to use a variety of techniques to extend those dollars and extend the life of those streets.”

The plan includes street maintenance – a list of streets to be tackled this fiscal year will be presented at the council’s March 5 meeting. Residents whose streets or sidewalks are not on the list can apply to share the funds with the city to repair other pathways.

Replacement squad cars, fire station improvements and Phase 3 of the wastewater treatment plant expansion also were in the plan, which totaled almost $30 million.

Sycamore police increased their visibility at area schools after Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida high school. Police and firefighters also responded to a fire alarm Thursday at Sycamore High School. Police Chief Jim Winters said district officials sent parents an email after the incident.

The council approved several ordinances, including Joel and Joan Barczak’s request to improve the Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward St., parking lot; a detached garage with an accessory apartment being built at 410 E. Elm St.; and DeKalb contracting company Milan Krpan’s request to reorganize the Thanks America subdivision.

Council members also waived Forge Brewhouse’s liquor license application fee and background check, as the business is moving from 1330 E. State St. to downtown Sycamore this spring.

“They’re moving to town and not out of town, and so I felt it was right to support them,” Mayor Curt Lang said.

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