Broadband coming to industrial park
A plan to bring high-speed Internet to Marion’s industrial park drew criticism from a city council member Monday.
Councilman Ruth Herbel challenged city economic director Randy Collett’s request that the city accept a $160,000 state grant to have Vyve broadband Internet service installed in the city’s industrial park.
Herbel said she believes the city’s obligation to provide $16,000 cash and $16,000 in-kind match is not worth it to provide a service that would benefit only one current industrial park business.
Expedition Wind, which has a contract on a building at 828 N. Roosevelt St., would use the broadband service. Herbel said other businesses in the industrial park are not interested in broadband service.
Her comment drew a defensive response from Collett.
“In the last five days, they’ve already asked me what their broadband capabilities will be,” Collett said. “If we don’t do this, then we certainly won’t have any businesses coming in.”
Collett said each business that wants broadband would have to pay to connect to the “backbone” that will be installed. The extension of the service line does not go directly to the businesses.
Without the service extension, businesses that want broadband would have to pay to have service connected from the vicinity of US-56, he said.
Council members cast a split vote to approve having the service installed, with Chris Costello, Jerry Kline, and mayor David Mayfield in favor and Herbel opposed.
Herbel said after the meeting that she had spoken against adding the service in the interest of keeping city expenditures down.
The line would cross under US-56 onto the Dollar General property, paralleling Industrial to Batt St., then cross under Batt St. and go west to Roosevelt St.
Last modified Oct. 8, 2020