Tom Hammond, Herlong
Robert (Bob) Marshall
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As we have reported in Ruralite magazine the past 15 months, Plumas-Sierra
Telecommunications, our not-for-profit telecommunications subsidiary, was awarded an
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
grant to bring a state-of-the-art fiber optic system from Reno, through our electric system, to
Quincy and Susanville.
We are delighted to report that PST was
granted an environmental permit to proceed
with the ARRA-funded fiber network project.
The environmental permit is a condition of the
grant award to proceed with construction.
We are pleased to report that we had tremendous cooperation from the U.S. Forest
Service’s Plumas National Forest, both at
the supervisor’s office and the Beckwourth
Ranger District in Mohawk. We also appreciate the support of Cal Trans’ regional team,
U.S. Bureau of Land Management and all of
the other agencies who worked hard to get the
permit to us in a timely fashion.
The project will allow for economic development in our region. It will also allow local
businesses, Internet service providers and
major institutions in our region to have access
to fast, reliable and affordable broadband, on
both a wholesale and retail basis.
Our first batch of fiber should be here about
the time you read this, and we will be starting
construction as the weather permits.
On the electric side, we are carefully reviewing
our budget. As we announced at the annual
meeting, we believe we will need rate increases
for the next two years, generally in line with
Members have clearly indicated that they
don’t want surprises and would prefer smaller
incremental increases instead of large, sudden
increases. At the same time, you encourage us
to hold off if increases are not yet necessary.
The board has worked to balance these two