Mapleton may be the latest city to install fiber optic internet as a utility for residents, according to Mayor Dallas Hakes.
During his State of the City Address on Thursday, Hakes said bringing high-quality internet access to residents would be one of the city’s goals for 2020.
The city recently partnered with a third party to “explore the feasibility of bringing fiber internet to Mapleton,” said Hakes, adding that the study included bandwidth analysis, financial projections and a citizen survey.
“We understand that quality internet access is not equitable across our city,” the mayor said. “And high-speed internet is an increasingly vital utility to our citizens.”
Hakes said the study is currently underway but the city expects to have a comprehensive report within the coming months.
“We deserve better internet,” he said. “And we plan to move forward in this plan based on the results of this study.”
Another goal for the year is to address funding for street maintenance, repair and construction, Hakes said.
“We are decades behind in our street maintenance,” he said. “That’s no surprise when you drive around the city.”
Hakes said the city is developing scenarios that look at how to “increase (the) lifespan of a well-maintained network of streets” and would seek citizen input throughout the process.
This year, the city plans to roll out a new website to make it easier for residents to access information about services and contact their public officials.
Mapleton has struggled in the past with getting information out to residents, according to Hakes.
“One of our challenges in reaching citizens is having limited access to accurate email addresses for households” when sending out utility bills and newsletters, he said, adding that the city plans to expand outreach by launching an initiative to deliver official city content across multiple channels.
Hakes highlighted city’s accomplishments in 2019, including hiring a public resource officer to work with Nebo School District schools within the city.
“We are excited for this position as it gives our police officers the opportunity to develop a good relationship with our community youth,” said Hakes.
Hakes praised the Mapleton City Parks and Recreation Department, which provided recreation programs and classes for more than 2,300 residents last year and received the Utah Recreation and Parks Association’s “Outstanding Department” award.
One of the biggest challenges of 2019, Hakes said, had to do with the quality of the city’s drinking water.
“Mapleton experienced some scrutiny related to water quality during the past year,” said Hakes. “As such, we worked with the state Division of Drinking Water, who verified that we do not have a health concern. They confirmed that we are meeting requirements for water quality and sampling.”
As of February, Hakes said the city had increased the amount of chlorine in its water system “to eliminate the possibility of bacterial growth in the future.”
“We’re committed to providing safe and reliable water for our city,” he said.
Connor Richards covers government, the environment and south Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at [email protected] and 801-344-2599.
- The Year the Internet Thought I Was MacKenzie Bezos – WIRED
- Easy ways to get the fastest internet connection possible in your home – Komando
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- Welcome (Back) to the Appointment Internet – New York Magazine