$1.4M to upgrade Internet goes to voters; Temporary tax hike sought for broadband.

AuthorMeindersma, Sandy

Byline: Sandy Meindersma

PRINCETON -- The town is moving closer to obtaining broadband Internet service, but the next steps belong to the voters.

While town officials are waiting to see if they can get broadband money from a special state program, they are planning to ask voters to set the stage for the long-awaited service.

Directors of the Princeton Broadband Municipal Light Plant say the town needs $1.4 million for the installation of fiber optic cables and equipment. At the directors' request, selectmen have called for a special town meeting on Nov. 18 to vote on a debt exclusion for those "make-ready costs.''

The $1.4 million would pay to erect poles, relocate wiring, buy an infrastructure hut and equipment, and cover administrative and engineering costs.

If approved at the special town meeting by the required two-thirds majority, the debt exclusion would be put before the voters in a special election scheduled for Dec. 9. There, the spending would only require a simple majority to pass.

Meanwhile, the broadband committee is waiting to hear if it will get money through a recently funded $40 million Massachusetts Broadband Institute program.

The program is designed to bring high-speed Internet to underserved communities, such as Princeton.

While municipal light plants are...

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