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MetroNet project starts delayed in parts of Sycamore and DeKalb

July 31, 2018

Construction for the multimillion-dollar MetroNet fiber-optic network will not begin Wednesday as expected in parts of DeKalb and Sycamore.

DeKalb Public Works Director Tim Holdeman said the city still is in the process of reviewing the permit for the project, but construction may begin later this week or at the beginning of next week north of Bethany Road. He said project construction is expected to begin in a couple of weeks starting in three neighborhoods.

In the meantime, Holdeman said, affected residents have been notified by mail about the construction. He said they will begin to see white flags and spray-painted areas where the line is going to go a couple of days before work starts.

“For most people that work during the day, they won’t even know that they’ve been there,” Holdeman said.

The DeKalb City Council unanimously approved a franchise agreement with the service provider in April. The city will receive an amount equal to 5 percent of MetroNet’s annual gross revenues in the franchise area in exchange for MetroNet building and operating a cable system in DeKalb.

MetroNet also is expanding in Sycamore. A franchise agreement and a special use permit that will allow the construction and operation of a 52-foot commercial antenna tower at 2535 Bethany Road both have been approved by the Sycamore City Council.

John Sauter, building and engineering director for Sycamore, said the officials are scheduled to meet with contractors Monday. He said it doesn’t look as if any underground work will begin in residential neighborhoods before the meeting, and that the exact construction schedule beyond that is unclear at this time.

Regardless, the city is working to make this process as transparent as possible, and residents will know what is happening through every step of the process, Sauter said.

“We don’t want anybody to look out their back window and see somebody back there and not know why they’re back there,” he said.

Holdeman said there’s no information to share yet on when MetroNet service will begin in DeKalb. He said more details will be shared after meeting with MetroNet officials later this week.

“It’s going to be a little while,” Holdeman said.

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