Imperial council approves trash pickup and joining optic network

April 18, 2002|By VICTOR MARTINEZ

Special to this newspaper

IMPERIAL — The Imperial City Council voted Wednesday to approve $16,000 for Valley Environmental Services to conduct a curbside trash pickup on May 10 and 11.

Additionally, the council approved spending $16,000 to $17,000 for the city to join the Imperial Valley Telecommunications Authority, which oversees the use of a fiber optic network linking the cities of El Centro and Calexico, the Imperial Irrigation District, the Imperial County Office of Education and the county government. The system is managed by the ICOE.

The initial cost to the city will be about $8,000 for the setup along with a yearly fee of another $8,000.


According to Steve Hogan, IVTA president and El Centro's public works director, the expenditures will not cover interphase costs.

There will be two city sites linked to the system in Imperial, City Hall and the public library, at a cost of $4,000 each.

Hogan said, "It will provide very fast communication, well over T1. With 56K it can take up to 20 seconds. With fiber optics it'll take a little over a second."

He said the setup would give children the opportunity to see the world and make contact with places they would not be able to reach otherwise. The system can provide a variety of telecommunications applications, such as teleconferencing for educational purposes.

Mayor Doug Cox cast the only dissenting vote and repeatedly questioned Hogan as to the cost involved.

Cox asked Hogan why the IVTA was looking to raise $6 million in grant money in addition to the $17 million already raised.

"You said within a year we'd be set anyway. Why would you need the other $6 million?"

Hogan explained additional funds would be needed to assure the project's survival and would cover any unforeseen maintenance costs.

Cox also questioned whether the city should be charged at all for the fiber optic connection since the schools are already connected to the IVTA.

"We already have a cable running through our city, so why do we have to pay?" he asked.

As for the curbside pickup May 10 and 11, City Manager Vincent Long said all items would be accepted except hazardous wastes, paints and solvents.

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