The town of Dolores joined with Montezuma County on a plan to deliver broadband Internet service to the area.
Dolores agreed to chip in $3,334 toward a feasibility study, and the county has allocated $60,000. Optimum Fiber Solutions was hired by the county to study Internet demand and infrastructure needs in the county and on the Ute Mountain Ute tribe.
The Dolores Town Board also agreed to ask voters to opt out of Senate Bill 152 in November, a law that limits what governments can do in the telecommunication industry. The county is also seeking voter permission to opt out.
SB 152 was passed by Colorado in 2005 and prohibits governments from building infrastructure to serve beyond their local government network. It is intended to prevent governments from competing with private industry.
But 56 counties and municipalities in the state have voted to opt out of SB 152. Doing so allows them to upgrade critical infrastructure, then provide companies a competitive, open-access network to deliver improved Internet services.
“Opting out unties our hands in order to build up the system. It’s like we build the road, and then private companies provide the service on that road,” said Jim McClain, IT manager for the county.
The county is researching whether forming a local telecommunication authority will help streamline the broadband project, which is viewed as critical to economic development.
“When people and businesses are thinking of moving here, the first thing they want to know is if there is broadband,” McClain said.
Other town newsResident Timothy Mueller filed in time to be a write-in candidate for the April 5 mail-in election for town board. There are five trustee seats open, and the mayor position. The election is non-competitive, so all 6 candidates, including for mayor, will earn their seats. The most vote getters will get a four year term, the least vote getters will serve a two-year term.
Dolores was awarded a $108,083 grant from the Department of Local Affairs for a sewer-sludge removal project and water-system upgrade.
Sheriff Steve Nowlin reported the school district has agreed to post portable traffic signs warning of pedestrians on 11th Street and County Road 31 when athletic teams run up and down the steep, curvy road for training.