Fibrant update on Salisbury City Council agenda

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 19, 2012

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — City Council will hear a Fibrant update when members meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 217 S. Main St.
Mike Jury is expected to present an overview and long-term strategy for the city’s new high-speed broadband utility. City Council has pledged this year to ensure Fibrant’s success and work with other groups to find the best way to market the service to attract jobs and new businesses.
Fibrant stumbled last month when a crucial upgrade went awry and left many customers without TV, Internet and phone service on-and-off for two days.
Jury, who took the helm in March, temporarily suspended the three-week upgrade to avoid more widespread outages.
He told the Post last month he will not proceed with adding a backup Internet circuit until he’s confident the maintenance can proceed smoothly.
During the maintenance, crews discovered equipment that could not handle the load as Fibrant was brought back up after a planned midnight outage.
The backup circuit should help lure more business accounts. Jury said he has several large commercial customers waiting for a second Internet connection before they subscribe.
No customers had canceled their service immediately after the outages, and city officials said most callers were understanding.
Some customers have asked why, if redundancy is necessary to lure subscribers like hospitals and colleges, Fibrant didn’t offer a backup Internet circuit in the first place.
The city borrowed $33 million to build the fiber-to-the-home network, which offers the fastest Internet speeds in the state.
Also on Tuesday, City Council members will:
• Hold a public hearing regarding an economic incentive grant for Freshouse II LLC.
The company is considering investing $6.3 million to expand an existing Salisbury facility, including $4.5 million in new equipment and property improvements.
The company currently employs 116 and would have the potential to add another 90 workers.
Based on the projected tax revenue generation, the company is eligible to receive a city grant of $21,500 annually for five years
• Recognize new principals Dr. Avis Williams of Salisbury High School and Terrence Snider of Knox Middle School.
• Recognize the Management Services Department for receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
• Consider closing South Main Street from Old South Main Street to A Street and South Fulton Street from Maupin Avenue to South Main Street from 8:45 until 11 a.m. Sept. 11 for the Salisbury Fire Department September 11 Memorial Service.
• Hold public hearings and consider rezoning two properties from general residential to residential mixed-use and establishing conditional district overlay: 1.65 acres for Cornerstone Church and Child Development Center at 1325 and 1353 Faith Road and less than one acre for the Ardrey property at 1601 S. 1st St.
• Hold a public hearing and consider rezoning about 14 acres by amending an existing conditional district overlay to allow development of a training facility at Rowan Cabarrus Community College Fire and Emergency Training Facility, 1333 S. Jake Alexander Boulevard.
• Hear about a cooperative program to extend the West End Community Garden and replace the play structures at Kelsey Scott Park through a grant from the North Carolina Eat Smart, Move More Community Grant Program.
• Consider approving demolition of a house at 111 E. Cemetery St. in the Downtown Local Historic District.
• Consider selling the city’s property at 110 N. Main St.
• Consider permanently removing the traffic signals at North Fulton and West Liberty Streets and North Lee and East Kerr Streets.
• Hear about management and enforcement of new parking ordinances.
• Hear public comments and City Manager Doug Paris’s comments.