Fiber is a Strategic Investment

As Holland Hospital celebrates 100 years, it is fun to point out a little-known fact about their early history:

officials approved a plan for the Board of Public Works to donate its utility profits to fund a new hospital — Holland City Hospital — which opened Jan. 9, 1928.

As we encourage the City and BPW to invest in fiber (BPW gives profits to the City each year and maintaines a very large reserve fund), we’re encouraged that there’s precident for investing in our community.

We’re not the only group that wants the City to use BPW’s funds for strategic investments. At a recent City Council meeting, a letter encouraging “A Concept for Funding Transformational Opportunities” was shared:

For example, in the immediate past fiscal year (FY16), the Net Operating Income (after other Costs but Before Appropriation) was approximately $21.2 million. The City of Holland received a Contribution of $5.5 million of this amount, compared to approximately $10.6 million that could be appropriated by the City. In essense, and theoretically, the City could have appropriated up to approximately $5.1 million additional funds (Appropriation) to its coffers. Instead, those “additional funds” are simply added to BPW Reserve Funds. For the current/forecast Fiscal Year FY17 and proposed FY18, the expected Net Operating Income (after other Costs but before Appropriation) are $24.5 and $17.9 million, respectively.

Unlike a private ISPs, Holland BPW can think long-term and build fiber which takes multiple years to pay for itself. Like building a Hospital, we think fiber broadband is a great community investment and hope that it is seen as the transformational opportunity is is.

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