The County Commissioners decided to allow Jasper’s Redevelopment Commission to take the lead on developing a plan for a combined tax incremental financing (TIF) district that would encompass Huntingburg and Jasper and the county areas connecting the cities. The TIF district would be designated to develop a fiber optic network to homes and businesses in those areas.
Metronet, a South Bend-based internet provider, has met with Jasper, Huntingburg and County officials several time since April to discuss proposals to bring fiber optic service to homes in the two cities and the corridor along U.S. 231 between them.
The company has proposed using utility poles to run the fiber optic cable to Huntingburg and Jasper and has indicated the two cities of the county must be involved to make the project feasible.
Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz acknowledged this would be Jasper’s first foray into using TIF and it is an unusual TIF. “TIF usually involves real estate and you don’t have that,” he said. “The only TIF will be that cable and where it goes.”
Seitz stated the addition of fiber-to-the-premise to the city, regardless of what company provides the service, is a needed improvement.
If Huntingburg approves the process, the groups will work together to form an interlocal agreement to designate the TIF district.