UTOPIA has been holding a series of open houses in Brigham City and revealed a new tool in their toolbox for extended their reach: the Special Assessment Area (SAA). The short of it is if you can get around 35% of your neighbors to opt into an SAA, a bond will be created for the cost of deploying UTOPIA to that area and each participant will get an equal portion of the cost of deployment attached to their property tax assessment. This allows you to pay for the cost of installation over a long period of time (20 years or longer) while taking advantage of municipal bond rates, typically around 6-7%.
While this was originally conceived as a way to quickly extend UTOPIA further into member cities without waiting for revenues to do so, it can also be used by non-member cities and unincorporated areas to bring in UTOPIA. I don’t know about you, but I plan to start asking my neighbors if they want in on that.