09/21/12 Bringing the Metro-Net from the south side of South Bend to Marshall County and Plymouth is one giant step closer to reality thanks to the actions of the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday night.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi presented a declaratory resolution to amend the project lists in TIF zones 1, 2 and 3 to add the Metro-Net infrastructure in each of the zones.

Local architect Brent Martin discussed the project that would put the conduit in the ground for the dark-fiber to be pulled through.  The project would start at Michigan and Ireland Roads in South Bend and head south down US 31 through Lakeville and LaPaz and then down Michigan Road into Plymouth.  On the north side of town it would head west on the new 7th Road and county on Oak Drive.  At US 30 the conduit would head west to Pioneer Drive where it goes south down Pioneer Drive to St. Rd. 17.  On 17 the project would head back to the east around the hospital and then back up Michigan Road.

Preliminary cost estimates for the project are $2.2 million.   The price includes mobilization and demobilization, test pits, 13.1 miles of four-section conduit bored and 18.2 miles trenched in plus over bridges and rail, 98 quazite hand-holes, markings, concrete, and all engineering.

Speaking in favor of the project was County Commissioner Kevin Overmyer.  He told the Redevelopment Commission that he has been working on trying to get the Metro-Net here for 5 years.  Overmyer said, “I think the only way we will get this done is to do it locally.”  He confirmed the county’s full support for the project and indicated that they would have money to put toward the project.

County Councilman Ralph Booker was very supportive and said, “For Marshall County to grow, we need the Metro-Net here.”

Harry Miller from Saint Joe Regional Medical Center said, “This project sells itself.”  He indicated the hospital’s pledge of substantial dollars for the project.

Executive Director of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, Jennifer Laurant also spoke in favor recognizing the Metro-Net as a key tool to keep existing businesses and attracting new businesses to the area.

The three members present at the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission approved adding the Metro-Net to the project lists in each of the three TIF zones.

There are a couple more steps to get the Metro-Net on the project list including support from the Plymouth Plan Commission and the Plymouth Common Council.