Monticello's model broadband effort in peril TOM MEERSMAN, Star Tribune June 7, 2012 But Monticello says it won't abandon FiberNet's 1,700 customers. Once seen as a national model, Monticello's broadband network can no longer pay its bills. The city, about 40 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, notified banks and bondholders Wednesday that it will no longer make debt service payments on $26 million worth of revenue bonds that were sold to build the fiber optic system in 2009.
Is city headed toward default of $26 million in bonds? The City of Monticello has notified bondholders that it plans to stop repayment of $26 million in bonds for the troubled FiberNet Monticello telecom system, due to a shortfall in operating revenue from telecom subscribers. This development marks the most dramatic step yet in the downturn for what was once a nationally touted municipal telecom model.
Hiawatha Broadband Communications pulls out amidst a range of concerns-- The news just keeps getting worse for the troubled Monticello publicly financed telecom system. Recent news reports and events continue to confirm that Mayor Clint Herbst was right when he admitted “we shouldn’t be in the telecommunications business at all”. Following up on the heels of FiberNet’s 2011 loss of $2.6 million (in spite of receiving a one-time $1.5 million legal settlement), ...
A Freedom Foundation of Minnesota analysis of Lobbying Disclosure Act filings finds that Minnesota’s local governments spent more than $1.1 million to lobby the federal government in 2011, and at least $3.7 million since the start of 2009.
The biggest spenders in 2011 were the City of Minneapolis ($180,000), Hennepin County ($140,000), and Anoka County ($116,000).
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