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O’Fallon approves fiber optic line to connect city facilities

The city of O’Fallon has approved leasing a 24-strand fiber optic cable from Everstream Solutions, LLC (Everstream) to connect city hall to six locations, including the Justice Center, Renaud Center, Environmental Services building, Dames Park, a small city building/salt dome on Glengate Estates Drive near Feise Road, and Westhoff Park. The 10-year total cost will be $455,000. 

A cell tower located in Westhoff Park is only accessible through an easement the city owns. In exchange for access to the easement, Everstream is offering favorable pricing to expand the city’s fiber optic network.

In a memo to the council, Information Technology Director Paul Huff had noted, “In comparison, a city-installed fiber project was quoted at $1.4 million. Competitors’ lease quotes ranged from $810,000 to $838,000 for the total 10-year investment. 

“This new (fiber) cable is critical as an increasing number of business operations are dependent upon network services. Current network speeds cause unnecessary delays and employee frustration. It also limits the capabilities that exist in current and future systems offered in the cloud. Additionally, the installation plan will allow for network redundancy for certain key buildings such as the Justice Center and Renaud Center.”

At its July 9 meeting, the City Council passed Bill No. 7194, sponsored by Ward 1 council members Dave Hinman and Deana Smith, by a vote of 10 – 0.  The bill gives Everstream a permanent easement to run a 24-strand, buried fiber optic cable through Westhoff Park.

On May 28 the council had approved Resolution No. 05-28-2020B by a vote of 10-0, authorizing agreements with Everstream for the leased fiber network, for an amount not to exceed $455,000. Now that the easement has been granted, the lease agreements now will be executed.

O’Fallon communications director Tom Drabelle said the city anticipates fiber installation starting in early August with completion by the end of the year.

Mid Rivers Newsmagazine had published detailed stories about this on May 29, June 14, and June 26.  The final agreements and vote had been tabled since June 11 due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing delays in Everstream surveyors being able to travel to O’Fallon.

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