The Tampico Village Board met on Tuesday night with the vast majority of the meeting dedicated to a presentation by a representative of the broadband operations at Jo-Carroll Energy.
Jesse Shekleton gave a presentation to the board regarding bringing fiber optic broadband to the village and surrounding countryside. Whiteside County Economic Development Coordinator, Gary Camarano, began the presentation by saying his office has been working to find a way to bring high-speed Internet to the entire County. He said the county is willing to contribute $1.5 million towards such a project using ARPA funds (American Rescue Plan Act). His office has reached out to several companies in hopes of finding one that would be willing to work on such an expansive project, commenting that several companies are willing to serve municipalities but not rural locations.
Shekleton explained that Jo-Carroll now serves multiple counties including Whiteside with electricity, natural gas, and now high-performance Internet. Sand Prairie Broadband is the Internet branch of the company.
During the twenty-five minute presentation, Shekleton said the company has received multiple grants for fiber-optic projects and is seeking partners to expand their services. He went on to say that while wireless service can be installed, fiber is is a much better solution looking to the future due to capacity and the ability to upgrade the service.
“We understand the importance of reliable, affordable, high-speed internet and how it is essential, especially in today’s environment. As a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative, we focus heavily on concern for community and providing vital solutions to rural issues, such as providing fiber broadband.” The partnership process would be lengthy with the biggest factor being the amount of interest in such a project from area residents.
Community Holiday Projects
Assistant village Clerk Jamie McIntire reported that Britney Pyron and a group of parents of Tampico Elementary School students are raising money for a project “Keep Our children Warm This Christmas”. The goal of the group is to provide a fleece blanket to each of the students at the elementary school with an imprinted TES logo. Donations are being accepted at the school and the village office and Casey’s in Tampico.
Mallory Wetzell, with the Parks and Recreation Committee updated the board on upcoming holiday events. “Christmas In The Country” will be held on Saturday, December 11th at the Reagan Community Center. The event will feature: Games, Pictures with Santa, Face Painting, and Caboose Rides around town. One highlight of the event will offer children the opportunity to purchase gifts for family and friends with points they earn from grades, completing activities and good deeds found on Santa’s Workshop Points Sheet Groups and organizations are invited to attend the event and provide games and activities. The committee is also looking for monetary donations to help pay for gifts that the children will purchase and wrap.
There will be a Little Miss and Mr. Tampico contest with registration available online. The winners will be announced at the Christmas in the Country event on December 11.
The community is also holding a Christmas lighting contest. Entries will be posted on the group’s Facebook page.
- Mayor Kris Hill reported that assistance is available for utilities, rent, and other needs. The information can be found online or at the village office.
- The village is taking applications for a janitorial position at the Reagan Community Center.
Dan Loos, with Willet Hoffman and Assoc., told the board that due to a technicality in the application process the lowest bid for the sewer relining project could not be accepted based on the regulations cited in the bidding process by the Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The board had previously agreed to accept the lowest bid. The project is being partially funded through a DECO Grant.
The second lowest bid bid of $483,167 from Hoerr Construction Inc. from Goodfield, Illinois was accepted. The bid is approximately $70,000 under the engineering estimate so some additional upgrades within the project may be accomplished.
Approval was given to open a separate checking account for the sewer relining project.
The next meeting date was changed from December 7 to Wednesday, December 15 at 7 PM