TOWN OF ST. GERMAIN WI, 54558
In Vilas County, the heart of Wisconsin's lakes and forests
CURRENT TOPICS OF INTEREST
RECYCLING EXTRAVAGANZA, October 14, 2023, 9:00 - Noon
The Town Board has been asked to help promote a special half-day recycling event open to all of Vilas and Oneida Counties.
Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations of Onalaska, WI, one of the event sponsors, will have two semi trailers at Riverside Park in Eagle River and will accept specific items including certain electronics.
This is a free event, but participants are asked to bring an unexpired, nonperishable food item for the Vilas County Food Bank as an entrance pass.
Click HERE for more details including acceptable items.
FIBER OPTIC UPDATE - August 5, 2023
Upon receipt of a State grant in 2020, the Town contracted with ChoiceTEL of Eagle River to install fiber optic cable throughout the community and to connect all homes and businesses who wished to subscribe to ChoiceTEL's services. The grant is a 50% cost share between the State and St. Germain property owners. ChoiceTEL started cable installation during the spring of 2021 and projected a completion time of two to three years.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to the Town, Charter/Spectrum received a Federal grant enabling installation of fiber optic cable, with no local cost share, throughout much of Northcentral Wisconsin, including parts of Vilas County and all of St. Germain. No one knew of this until the spring of 2022 when Charter/Spectrum crews showed up with lots of equipment and started burying cable. Additionally, whereas the one small ChoiceTEL crew stopped installation work during the winter months, Charter/Spectrum crews continued working throughout the winter of 2022-23.
Spring of 2023 revealed that Choice/Tel would need longer than the two to three years they had originally projected, whereas Charter/Spectrum anticipated completing fiber optic cable installation by October of 2023, although completion of customer hook-ups may take into the winter of 2023-24. Those time projections appear to remain on track as of early August.
There is little advantage to having two internet providers installing fiber optic cable throughout the Town, especially when property tax dollars are paying 50% of the installation costs of one of the providers. Therefore, ChoiceTEL has stopped cable installation with only parts of the Town completed.. There now needs to be a reckoning amongst the State, ChoiceTEL and the Town to determine how much of the Town's original 50% project allocation has not been spent and can become available for other uses.
Approximately 1,000 St. Germain addresses had pre-registered for ChoiceTEL services before Charter/Spectrum became an option. ChoiceTEL is now offering subscriptions only in areas where they completed cable installation before terminating their project. In all other areas, Charter/Spectrum will be the only fiber optic provider.
Basic services to have been provided by ChoiceTEL, are very similar to Charter/Spectrum's services, as are the rates. However, Charter/Spectrum also offers additional features which would not have been available with ChoiceTEL.
Persons outside the areas where ChoiceTEL completed cable installation have the option of either waiting for Spectrum to contact them, or visiting Spectrum's web page to subscribe.
The Town Board hopes this update resolves some of the recent confusion with this topic.
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