Township looks into fiber optics network

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Groveport and Obetz are asking Madison Township to join a movement to bring a fiber optics network to southeastern Franklin County by participating in a $4.5 million grant application.

“They’re inviting you guys as a co-applicant,” said communications advisor Jeff Gamrath during the December Madison Township trustees’ meeting.

He told the trustees, if they decide to participate, it could mean an extra $100,000 in grant funding for the large-scale  endeavor.

According to Gamrath, the city and village would pick up the biggest portion of the cost of a loan to build the network, along with a public/private partnership, if the grant was approved and the project eventually brought to fruition.

“Your (the township’s) contribution would be only a budgetary amount for connectivity,” said Gamrath, “but there’s no commitment on your part right now.”

The only immediate cost for the township is a $3,000 investment to be part of the grant application and have representation at the board, if the grant is approved.

Trustee Victor Paini reported most of the current fiber network in central Ohio is located north of Broad Street. He said work is swinging around the county from the westside, south of Broad St., to the southern edge of the county and around to the eastside of Columbus.

“The whole southside would be a publicly-owned network,” said Gamrath. “Some of the businesses I’ve talked with down here are interested in this. There’s potential for a revenue stream for this.”

Paini added, “This network is just the tip of the iceberg for what we can be doing. I’m really excited about this.”

Fire department news

Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates asked for a resolution of support for a subscription-based service to facilitate dispatching and shift information electronically between dispatching centers.

The proposal would allow the dispatching center to move data and talk electronically in real time, which, Bates assured the trustees, would save valuable time.

“We’re talking about cutting minutes out of run times,” said Bates. “Columbus is acquiring it for us.”

The township contracts with Columbus for dispatching services and the cost for the on-going subscription would be rolled into the city’s dispatch services fee.

“This (the resolution before the trustees) says this is a good resolution that needs to be pursued,” said Bates.

Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said the resolution does not authorize anyone to sign any documents at the present time.

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