Lake Township trustees are hoping a new fiber-optic telephone and Internet system for the administration building on Cummings Road will not only cut costs and improve service but also give a boost to economic development.
The trustees Tuesday approved a 3-year contract with Buckeye Telesystems for $1,000 a month for the new system, which will expand the number of available phone lines at the administration building to 25 from the current 14.
Phone numbers for township offices won’t change but the trustees said the new system will streamline service, which now is a “patchwork” of phone networks by three providers, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
The township last month paid about $2,500 for phone and Internet service, said Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, adding the new system is “state-of-the-art.”
Three nearby businesses, Tri-State Expedited Services, Inc., Nagle Companies, and Service Spring Corp., have indicated they would also purchase service from the new system and any business that locates in a Joint Economic Development District that was established on the grounds of Metcalf Field will also be able to purchase the service, said Richard Welling, a trustee.
He said the fiber-optic system is part of the township’s on-going effort to make the area more attractive to business and create jobs.
Mark Hummer, township administrator, said fiber-optic is faster and more reliable than other options.
“Businesses around us need this service,” he said. “Communications in any type of business is huge and this is another example of government working with business for the betterment of both.”
By making the service available to companies that locate in the JEDD, it “completes the picture” of available utilities at the site, Hummer said.
Under a 30-year JEDD agreement, the City of Toledo and township will share income tax revenues from jobs created at the district, with the township receiving 60 percent and city receiving 40 percent.
The income tax rate will be 2.25 percent.
Other provisions include:
•If an existing business from Toledo relocates to the district, the city will retain all of the income tax until it recovers the amount of tax it received before the company relocated.
• The city and township each agree to provide $15,000 to meet initial costs.
• The JEDD territory is zoned M-1 light industrial and can’t be annexed during the term of the agreement.