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Council to consider approving Fibrant-Hotwire lease

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council will consider whether to adopt a resolution approving the potential lease of its Fibrant broadband service to Hotwire Communications at its meeting this evening.

The final decision on whether the lease can proceed will be made by Salisbury voters in a May 8 referendum, but the council’s approval is also required for the lease to be adopted.

In the resolution, which was sent to council members by City Manager Lane Bailey, Bailey recommends that council adopt the agreement and says the lease “is a positive and significant step forward.”

The lease would give the responsibility of managing and maintenance of the Fibrant system to Hotwire. Hotwire would pay the city percentages of its revenue every quarter.

Even if votes do not approve the lease in the referendum, the council’s decision today will still hold weight. The lease agreement specifies that if the referendum measure fails, the city will still enter into a consulting agreement with Hotwire for three years.

The consulting agreement would mean that Hotwire would not pay rent to the city or pay for future capital expenditures but instead would help the city with contract negotiations, marketing and strategy.

That would cost the city a minimum of $5,000 a month.

For more information on the lease, which was released late last week, read the companion article in today’s Post.

Other items on the City Council’s agenda today include:

• The council will consider adopting three land development ordinance amendments.

One case involves rezoning five parcels — about 12 acres — along Statesville Boulevard so an 80-unit apartment complex can be built.

Another case will ask the council to amend a section that relates to — among other things — the location of gas station canopies.

The third will ask the council to amend sections on on-premises parking.

A public hearing will be held for all three potential amendments.

• The council will receive an update on the Civic Center dog park project.

According to the agenda item, the project is being moved to the fenced-in clay court in the rear of the building.

There will still be another court for use.

• The council will receive an update on youth opportunities in Salisbury.

• A special committee will report on suggested rules and procedure.

The City Council will meet at 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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