Kaysville City Council Votes To Create Fiber Utility Department, Postpones Vote On Fee

Sep 19, 2019, 11:46 PM

KAYSVILLE, Utah – Kaysville City Council members modified their original plan because of public input but ultimately approved the creation of a fiber utility department in a meeting that turned into an hourslong heated debate on Thursday.

Council members also agreed to postpone a vote on a fiber utility fee to a later date.

“Is this right for Kaysville? Does Kaysville really need this?” Jason Sanders asked. He’s part of the Coalition for Responsible Kaysville Fiber, a new group formed in response to a city plan to approve a $26 million bond that would allow the city to create and run its own fiber-optic network.

“It’s a tax,” Sanders said. “The city is selling it as a critical utility or an essential utility but…it’s not electricity. It’s not like water.”

Others agreed with Sanders.

“Let the people speak!” several residents shouted at the end of what was supposed to be a half-hour long public comment period. Kaysville City Council members and Mayor Katie Witt ultimately consented to allow people to comment for an additional half-hour.

“We’re looking at this as something all of us use for our day to day lives. Nearly all of us,” said council member Michelle Barber.

The plan had been in the works for more than a year during which time she said the city held open houses and conducted surveys to gather public input.

“I support the initiative and the work that’s been done,” one man said. Supporters of the plan pointed to rising internet costs, evolving technology and the ever-increasing demand to have a good connection to the internet.

But supporters were clearly the minority among those who spoke at Thursday’s meeting.

“You are assuming you know what is best for all of Kaysville City,” a woman told the mayor and council.

“I am happy with what I’ve got,” said another resident, speaking of her current internet provider.

Others simply said they would choose not to use the service and refuse to pay a fee.

“It’s not a decision that we’d ever make lightly because it’s a huge impact on our city,” Barber said.

Near the end of Thursday’s meeting, city leaders introduced a modified plan that would give people the choice to opt out of the service and not pay a dime. The more people who opt out, the more the utility fee will likely be for those who choose to have the service. But Barber said it will “still be a better value at home and it will retain the principle that people are looking for.”

“We’ve heard you,” Barber said. “We understand that and we want to offer that to our residents. We want to give them a choice.”

Sanders agreed that city leaders have been listening to their concerns and he saw the option to opt out without paying a fee as a big win for opponents. But he and others were still disappointed that the city ultimately approved building a fiber utility department.

“We don’t really consider it a mandatory, essential or critical infrastructure item,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Utah's state Route 24 on June 23, 2022. (NPS)...
Larry D. Curtis

Flood watch over popular Utah recreation areas Sunday

A flood watch is in effect over central southern Utah, through Sunday night, as thunderstorms create potentially dangerous conditions.
16 hours ago
Hundreds of protesters marched in Provo for abortion rights....
Michael Locklear

Hundreds protest in Provo to demand abortion rights

A crowd of roughly 300 people gathered in Provo Saturday night to demand abortion rights.
2 days ago
A structure fire nearby the Rio Tinto Stadium. (Credit: Scott Jones)...
Michael Houck

Gymnastics business burns near Rio Tinto during RSL game

Sandy Fire crews battled against a 3rd alarm structure fire near the Rio Tinto Stadium during the Real Salt Lake game Saturday evening.
2 days ago
A head on crash between a pick-up truck and a car. (Credit: UHP)...
Michael Houck

Police: One man dead, one in hospital after a crash in San Juan County

One man is dead, and another person is in the hospital after a head-on crash in San Juan County, according to Utah Highway Patrol.
2 days ago
A sign hangs in the offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America(Photo by Mario Tama/Get...
Michael Houck, KSL-TV & Associated Press

Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban

'We are forced into motherhood'; Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Utah's trigger law banning most abortions in the state.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO: Utah County Attorney David Leavitt is pictured at a press conference in Salt Lake City ...
Michael Houck

Utah County Commissioner clarifies ‘incorrect’ quotes used in Leavitt mailers

Utah County Commissioner Ameilia Gardner sent a statement clarifying a possible endorsement of Utah County Attorney David Leavitt sent to local residents.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Kaysville City Council Votes To Create Fiber Utility Department, Postpones Vote On Fee