MEDINA — The Medina County Port Authority issued $14.4 million in bonds for the countywide fiber-optic loop project just in time for Thursday’s deadline to use the stimulus-funded Recovery Zone Bonds.
Bethany Dentler, administrator of the Port Authority, said many other projects were vying for buyers for the bonds. “We ran into a couple of challenges toward the end of the year, mostly because there were a lot of other projects going to market at the end of the year. So it took longer than we anticipated,” she said.
Each county in Ohio had a set amount of the low-interest bonds to allocate to local projects. Earlier this year, county commissioners allocated about $13.9 million of the bonds for the fiber-optic project.
Dentler said pre-engineering for the fiber loop already has been done by One Community, the Cleveland nonprofit that will be constructing the loop. Construction is expected to start in March and be complete in early 2012.
The project involves building a 151-mile, 144-strand fiber loop throughout the county that would provide high-bandwidth connections for businesses and local governments. The Port Authority would own the loop, but private businesses and public entities like schools and libraries would lease access.
The fees such entities pay will be used to pay off the Recovery Zone bonds.
Ron Paydo, chair of the Medina County Port Authority, said in a release Thursday that more than a dozen clients have made commitments to subscribe to the fiber loop.
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