During the Springfield City Council work session Monday, councilors listened to presentations about increasing electric voltage downtown and expanding fiber optic internet.
Electric service upgrades would impact existing downtown businesses and property owners. According to city documents, some of these buildings use decades old services, which may no longer be adequate to support current property owners without substantial investment.
A downtown-wide electric upgrade and voltage conversion upgrades will require private investment as well to convert existing private electric services. The Springfield Utility Board was approved by the City to pursue this project.
This cost is currently unknown.
Springfield council members also asked the joint Springfield Utility Board City Fiber Task Force to continue. The group will provide general feedback and guidance related to the downtown fiber optic internet.
In 2019, the City of Springfield received a $99,500 grant from US Ignite and the National Science Foundation to expand fiber, piloting connectivity to the regional fiber hub in downtown Eugene, and to study and construct interconnectivity and a contribution of internet exchange equipment.
All funds must be expended by December 31. This timeline may be expanded due to the coronavirus pandemic.