Town partners with broadband provider

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

SHERMAN — At the Town Board meeting Jan. 2, Bryan Sevener introduced himself as president and CEO of Hexis Internet.

Sevener lives in Fredonia. “I’ve been here for around 30 of my 35 years of life,” he said. He and his business partner started their company for the sole purpose of providing rural broadband Internet access.

Sevener said his company, in its four years of operation, has seen an annual growth rate of at least 400 per cent. “We have lost zero customers since we’ve started,” he said.

“As far as I know, we’re the only ones coming into this area to service the town of Sherman,” with broadband, he said, which is an “epicenter” of under-served and non-served for broadband Internet services.

Sevener said his company is applying for a state-wide, rural broadband grant. “It is a grant strictly oriented toward privatized companies like ours that provide rural broadband area services,” he said. He added that local internet service providers do not qualify for that grant, because the speed of their services does not qualify as “broadband.”

The grants are provided “to companies like us that partner with municipalities,” he told the board. The company and municipality can form any arrangement, he said.

“So what I’m here asking for is, I’m looking to see if there’s an opportunity that we can partner with the town of Sherman to see if there’s something we can work out,” he told the board. “Is there an interest in partnering with a company like mine?”

He added, “We are unfortunately against a deadline of Jan. 25,” regarding the broadband grant.

Town Chairman William Goehring and other board members asked some technical questions. Sevener replied with plenty of technical information.

The board voted unanimously for the town to partner with Hexis Internet, and to support them with possibly reduced application fees.

Other town business

Goehring said ruts had been created in the grass at the Wayside Park by construction vehicles during the State 144 rebuilding. Board members will look into who is responsible for fixing them.

Two board positions are up for re-election. Only those two supervisors are running, so a primary for Sherman is not needed. But the two names were selected blindly to determine the order of the names on the spring ballot. James Fahney will be listed first; Robert Boehlke will be second.

The board unanimously approved:

• A land division requested by Ken and Vicki Zimmermann for land on State 144, west of Random Lake. The property owners have worked with the town over a period of several months, sometimes changing their proposal for splitting and rezoning this land. Goehring said, “It appears that the Plan Commission has come forth with a recommendation that works for is within our regulations.”

• A land division requested by Justin and Samantha Goehring for land on County DE. Clerk/Treasurer Rhonda Klatt noted that the land is zoned A-3 (Agricultural Land Transition District), and because it will remain as such, the request had needed no review or recommendation from the Plan Commission.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Class B liquor license unanimously approved: Armando Gonzales Lopez, for La Bamba Mexican Restaurant. This restaurant, which owners hope to open soon, is on State 57. A former restaurant and bar, the building has been unused for some time.

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