Intelliwave continues discussions on sewer project

September 4th 2019

By Heather Willard

Concerns over efficiency were discussed but not resolved during the Tuesday morning Athens County Commissioners meeting involving the Route 50 sanitary sewer project.

The project, now estimated to cost $34.5 million, is aimed at providing sanitary sewer service to housing subdivisions along Route 50 west of Athens. The city would provide the sewage treatment, and will replace the individual septic tanks the residents currently use — making the endeavor considered to be an environmental project.

There are also plans to combine this with another project to expand broadband access to the rural area. Chris Cooper, owner of Intelliwave, a company that will be laying fiber optic cable, met with the commissioners and advocated for the adoption of the Ohio federal government policy of “dig once.”

That statewide policy is an effort to leverage non-broadband infrastructure projects and therefore reduce the cost of broadband expansion. A study conducted by the Department of Agriculture through Ohio State University found that over half of Athens County residents have broadband internet access. Reducing costs to building broadband networks is important for the success of other rural residents lacking access, Cooper said Tuesday.

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