County to lease broadband fiber infrastructure

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The Person County Board of Commissioners declared two strands of fiber as surplus property ahead of a potential lease to RiverStreet Networks.

The county received an offer to lease the strands from NC Wireless, which RiverStreet Networks is currently acquiring.

According to the commissioners’ agenda, the proposal is a 20-year lease of the two strands of dark fiber with a one-time fee of $750 per strand mile and $175 of annual maintenance per linear mile.

Under these conditions, there is an initial lease fee of $78,000 and then an annual maintenance fee of $9,100 for the first five years of the lease.

North Carolina law states that there must be a 30-day notice of intent to enter into such a lease. Therefore, the final lease agreement will be authorized at commissioners’ Nov. 9 meeting.

Previously, the county was set to lease 10 surplus fiber strands, but consideration of that proposal was struck from commissioners’ Aug. 19 agenda. At that time, Chairman David Newell Sr. said the item was not ready to come before the board. According to the agenda, the strands were to go to the county’s Emergency Communications and Recycling Center.

County Manager Heidi York said Person County is still in negotiations for that potential lease and the deal should be wrapped up before one of the commissioners’ meetings in October.

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