I think this project (Sunrise Township in Chisago County and CenturyLink) will be a good one to watch in terms of possibly creating a template for other communities in CenturyLink areas. Here’s a little more detail on it from Chisago County Press…
The pieces may be falling into place to service hundreds of properties in Sunrise Township with highspeed broadband. The township has been awarded a coveted state Border-to-Border grant and now awaits a petition– signed by at least 50 percent of the affected potential CenturyLink customers–in support of the project. This coming March might be one township annual meeting taxpayers won’t want to miss.
The project has an estimated price tag at $2.39 million. What Sunrise Township needs to do is create a subordinate service district (SSD) which is territory where CenturyLink can service customers, and these parcels would pay for their internet infrastructure….minus the state grant assistance. The grant is for $1.07 million or approximately half the cost to install broadband Internet fiber infrastructure.
Sunrise would takeout debt to help the project happen and the debt is placed on tax rolls of parcels in the SSD. Any broadband subscription costs go on top of that, explained Sunrise Chair Carl ‘Pete’ Johnson.
It has not been determined yet if the debt would be paid off over 10 years or 15 years.
Supervisor Johnson said SSD petition requirements must be fulfilled first, before the township supervisors are even going to consider acting. The township has a consultant verifying the signatures presented thus far, to make sure they are property owners within what comprises the Subordinate Service District.