Letter: Fibrant lease should save taxpayers money, improve the system

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The writer is responding to Charles Sowers’ letter in Sunday’s Post, “Lingering Fibrant questions”:

Fibrant was originally financed with so-called Certificates of Participation, which do not require voter approval and are often criticized for that reason. Had the City Council then decided to issue bonds to pay for Fibrant, voter approval would have been required. Similarly, the sale or lease of a municipal enterprise, such as Fibrant, requires voter approval.

As my op-ed indicated, without the Hotwire lease, Salisbury taxpayers will have to cover Fibrant operating losses, capital replacement costs and debt payments. Those costs will exceed $40 million over the next 10 years. Hotwire will make lease payments based upon a percentage of revenues, cover all operating costs and make all capital replacement and expansion costs. That will cut the cost to the taxpayer by at least $20 million. Salisbury taxpayers will have to cover approximately $20 million over the next 10 years.

These projections, that were also reviewed by an independent CPA firm, also presume no increase in market share. The city has shown little ability to increase market share. An increase in market share increases the Hotwire payment to Salisbury and reduces the remaining $20 million cost to the taxpayer. Hopefully, all citizens of Salisbury will try Hotwire because it not only reduces their tax burden, but Hotwire (and Fibrant) offers outstanding and superior services.

As for everything being wireless one day, wireless requires wires — to get signals to the towers, to get signals through walls, for those who need or want more security, for intra-organization privacy, for better video and so on. It’s a long time, if ever, before we have wireless electricity or wireless internet.

— David Post