Peoples Telecom, KwiKom submit fiber-optic proposals

MOUND CITY – On Monday, April 18, the Linn County Commissioners deferred decisions on several bid proposals, including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) bids for broadband installation, presented by Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower until they were able to meet with the companies or gather more information.

The proposal asked applicants to show how they would install fiber optic Internet to the area of Linn County west of Kansas Highway 7 and north of Kansas Highway 31.

Hightower presented the bids for installing broadband internet on the west side of the county. Peoples Telecommunications proposal said that they would install fiber-optic service to 150 homes, businesses, city offices, library, and the school in Parker with broadband for a cost of $418,635. At the commission meeting it was unclear what the match was on Peoples offer.

KwiKom Communications’ proposal said it would cost the company more than $1.11 million to install fiber-optic service to Parker, Centerville, Goodrich, and Blue Mound. KwiKom proposed it would pay $580,000, or 50 percent of the cost, and asked the county for the other 50 percent.

For that amount, it would reach approximately 399 addresses. In or near Parker, it would reach 149; Blue Mound, 17; Centerville, 64; and 14 at Goodrich.

Peoples Telecommunications already has installed fiber-optic cable to a communications tower and homes within two miles of Parker. And KwiKom Communications already has many tower-to-dish customers in the area.

The commissioners asked that the two companies come and clarify what they were offering at next week’s meeting. Hightower said the commission had until May 9 to make anything official.

Hightower also presented a bid for road oil for the county. The companies bid by gallon for different grades of oil. Vance Brothers Inc. bid was $3.34 for MC30, $2.94 for EA300, and $3.04 for CRS2P. Coastal Energy Corporation bid was $3.94 for MC30, $3.08 for EA300 and $2.53 for CRS2P.

The county uses around 200,000 gallons of CRS2P per year for chip-and-seal on the roads.

The commissioners decided to have Linn County Asphalt Foreman Tod Moeller review the bids and get back with them.

Hightower gave the commissioners the mowing bids she had received for county property. The bidders, Scarecrow Farms Lawn Care and Mairs Lawn Landscape, made bids for each location. There were nearly 20 locations. Hightower will go over the bids and make a recommendation.

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