Layton says yes to Milestone Two

LaytoncitylogoLayton joins Midvale and West Valley City in voting yes to move forward with getting final details of Macquarie’s proposal under Milestone Two, the third city in a row to do so. For those keeping score, this means that all of the cities who have voted on the proposal have chosen to get more details. Given that there’s no little commitment to do so, it’s a wonder any city isn’t interested in say “yes, please, give us the finalized details”.

The next scheduled votes won’t be until the final week to respond, so it’ll be really quiet. In the meantime, there’s a lot of public meetings you can drop in on to show your support. Also make sure that your city councils are hearing from you that they should move forward with Milestone Two.

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22 Responses to Layton says yes to Milestone Two

  1. Scott McIntyre says:

    It isn’t accurate to state that there is no commitment to proceed to Milestone 2. By signing on for each milestone, each has had to place money in escrow. If the city backs out of the deal at any future point, that money all goes to Macquarie. The amount each city has to pay out varies depending on their portion of the project.
    Centerville City has already paid about $18,000 for milestone one and should have to pay another $30,000 to proceed to milestone two. Layton city has put in about $40,000 already.
    With each milestone the cost of backing out becomes bigger and bigger.

    • Jesse says:

      Thanks for the clarification.

    • Dax says:

      Scott, I believe your Centerville numbers are not correct. To proceed to milestone 2, it is another $8 to $9k on top of the $16k already committed.

      • Scott McIntyre says:

        I spoke with a Centerville City Council member this morning and those were the numbers I had in my notes of the discussion. I may have made a mistake or heard incorrectly though. Thanks for the correction.

  2. Anonymous says:

    At the Orem meeting, the city manager said that for Orem, it was $100k for M1 and will be $200k for M2.

    • Greg says:

      My Co-worker lives in Orem, and he let me know that as much as the residents want UTOPIA, the city really screwed up the build-out. The reality is that the $300k is cheap compared to how much it will cost the city to pay for the network without any additional revenue from the network. Macquarie may not have the “holy grail” of solutions, but it’s a solution, and not a bad one at that.

  3. Travis says:

    The Layton UTOPIA thing is all BS. They have been “on board” for how many years? Yet how many Layton houses can actually get it? 5? 10?

    I’ve given up on ever getting it UTOPIA. Politically correct or not, I’m sticking with Comcast, simply because they say, then they DO vs all the politics.

    • Jesse says:

      UTOPIA totally screwed up the UIA implementation. I think the only residential areas that got hooked up during that time were in Centerville and those used federal grants. I still can’t figure out what happened there.

      That said, Macquarie will be contractually obligated to complete the build in participating cities within 30 months of signing the deal and have the money to follow through. I’m sure that a small consolation right now.

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’ve been trying to find an article or other source for how each Layton city council member voted. I wrote to each a couple days ago urging their support for proceeding to milestone 2 and wanted to see what they did but can’t find the specific results anywhere. Do you have a link?

  5. Jeremy says:

    Thanks Jesse.

    • Jesse says:

      UTOPIA is reporting a 5-0 vote in Layton. Sounds like the only one voting against so far has been WVC Mayor Bigelow.

      • Jeremy says:

        That’s very good news. Thanks again!

        • Josh says:

          And most likely much of Murray’s votes will be against. I heard a great part of the stimulus money Utopia got went to much of the trunk lines that went through WVC. Another reason they are on board. Murray didn’t get much money since they had much more rolled out…according to a source I talked to last night.

      • Greg says:

        I thought WVC was completely on board. If so, why does the mayor get to make a choice that does not represent the people?

  6. Josh says:

    What can we do to help get the city of Murray on board? Any one have some ideas?

    • Jesse says:

      Keep on hammering the city council with calls and emails. Get everyone else to do the same. Lobby as hard as CenturyLink’s puppet, the UTA.

  7. Blaine Nichols says:

    Now “Milestones” is the new ‘operative’ word.

    In 2010 UTOPIA supposedly had $16.2M in federal funding, with those funds specifically dedicated to hook up “anchor institutions” such as schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, and government buildings in Perry, Payson, Midvale, Murray, Centerville, Layton, Orem, and West Valley City.

    Have all 400 of those buildings now been hooked up?
    How many really got hooked up?
    How much of the $16 Million is still available?

    The first milestone (footstone, in retrospect) set WAY BACK WHEN, over a decade ago, is now vastly overshadowed. And, each day and each dollar added indeed makes it more difficult to ‘back out’. If the $16,000,000 didn’t accomplish its stated goals . . . as did none of the earlier monies . . . when will we see the magic dollar number that will turn this boondoggle into a viable product? Or,when will all the Cities have to fold up their tents and back-out?

    • Jesse says:

      I’m reasonably sure that UTOPIA would have been required to file reports with the feds to report on the results of the grant. You could probably ask NTIA for information on BTOP performance. You should also talk to UEN (they buy UTOPIA connections) to see how many UTOPIA connections they’ve lit up since that point. Also ask the individual cities how they’re using UTOPIA for city services. I know it’s pretty deeply embedded in Orem’s city operations.

      Worth noting: the award says “up to 400”, so UTOPIA did not commit to wiring 400 locations. It would be near impossible to do so with just $16.2M.

  8. Blaine Nichols says:

    Yes; I’m confident that they indeed filed some reports. And, I strongly suspect that those reports, once again, indicate that UTOPIA has chalked-up one more incompetent loss. Had they come even close to a win, the captured (willing dupes??) cities would have been touting their first wisp of glory. Surprisingly, as even your “up to 400” disclaimer offers, if they had lit up even 10 or 40 buildings they could have claimed some sort of “win”. But, so far, they didn’t even take that cheap way out . . . leading one to believe that their failure was, again, truly magnificent.

    I’d bet that they have spent almost every last dime they picked up this time, and that they have squandered that money. Such is their history.

    Every time UTOPIA comes to the begging trough (hiding behind their cohort’s heavy hand of wasteful taxation) they say they need “just a few dollars more”. Then, “good, bad and ugly”, they spend that money and return whining that they sadly, again, face default and that the sheeople will have to surrender their tax dollars once more and still try to connect their high-speed computers and TVs to an empty promise.

    From the first published numbers released by UTOPIA and their pimps in the various City Governments there has not been one real success. They have never done what they falsely promised to do . . . they have never honestly told the public how much this boondoggle will cost . . . they have missed almost every “milestone . . . inchstone?” which they proclaimed . . . they have never produced honest financial projections.

    AND, they have never failed to pander the public for ever more money to pound into their rat-hole.

    UTOPIA compromises everyone who spends any time getting their palms greasy; while working to ensure that its bottomless pit is filled.
    The UTOPIAn Emperor has no clothes and will never find a good, or honest, tailor to cover him . . . and some of the people continue to cheer him along his journey to naked oblivion.

    • Jesse says:

      The ARRA money wired 93% of Centerville and the BTOP money could only be spent on new construction. You’re making a thinly-veiled accusation that this isn’t the case (and thus that UTOPIA has broken the law), yet you show a lack of willingness to follow up to find out if it’s true.

      Look, I get that people are pretty angry that UTOPIA failed to meet expectations under two different business models. They deserve a lot of criticism for that. But accusing them of embezzling federal dollars with no proof doesn’t really count as a productive activity. (In fact, some people would probably go so far as to call it defamation.)

      The reality of the situation is that the cities made the decision 12 years ago and are on the hook for a whole lotta bond money. Unless you have a time machine (and if you do, there’s a lot more productive uses for it), you can’t undo that decision. All you can do now is try to support the least bad option going forward. If all you want to do is gripe, that’s cool too, but at least be honest about it.

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