News flash – action requested

Mayor David Narkewicz has submitted a proposal to the Northampton City Council for its meeting tomorrow, Thursday, June 4, 2020. It requests that the City Council vote on the creation of a Municipal Light Plant for the city.

A Municipal Light Plant is a legal framework for a municipality to offer services like a high-speed network to the community. This is a procedural but significant step forward for our project.

The process of performing a feasibility study for the city is moving ahead on schedule. The results of the study should be in the city’s hands during the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2020. If the study finds that a municipal network is feasible, and if the city decides to build it, a Municipal Light Plant would be a necessary step for moving forward.

Massachusetts law states that to create a Municipal Light Plant a city council must vote in two separate fiscal years by at least a two-thirds majority of the council to create it, and then it must be put before the voters.

By submitting this proposal for a vote before July 1, the mayor is wisely protecting the project from delays. It doesn’t require the city to create the Municipal Light Plant, since two City Council votes are needed, and this is just the first, but it assures that there will be no delays in the schedule.

Here’s where your action comes in. Please contact your City Council member today or tomorrow, before the council meeting at 7pm, to let them know you support the proposal for the creation of a Municipal Light Plant. We believe most of the city council supports this project and will vote in favor, but we don’t want to take any chances that the vote might get sidetracked or postponed, as that would cause unnecessary delays in the timeline.

Here is a list of the city council members and their contact information.

Thanks for your help in moving the municipal high-speed network initiative forward.

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