The Greenville City Council is set to take action tonight that would allow a new high-speed internet and television service provider to operate in Greenville.
City staff is recommending the council approve a right-of-way agreement and memorandum of understanding with Metro Fibernet during its 6 p.m. meeting.
Metro Fibernet, also called MetroNet, wants to install a $35 million to $40 million fiber-optic network that will provide voice, video and internet services to businesses and residents, according to material provided in the council’s agenda package.
The goal is to begin installation in the next few months with the first customers receiving service in late summer.
“We’re really excited. We think this is just a great opportunity for the citizens of Greenville,” Mayor P.J. Connelly said Wednesday. “I think they are going to be very happy to have another provider in the community.”
Tonight’s vote comes as several communities are appealing to the N.C. Attorney General’s office to address complaints about the area’s primary internet provider, Suddenlink. The cities of Washington, N.C., New Bern and Tarboro asked Greenville to sign a request sent to the state. Rocky Mount and Ayden also are considering action.
Greenville’s proposed agreement with MetroNet plans a two-year buildout that will eventually supply services to 90 percent of the city.
MetroNet, which launched in 2004, currently serves 100 communities in eight states. North Carolina became its ninth state when the company announced Tuesday it is partnering with Fayetteville to provide fiber-optic service in that city.
In its agreement with Greenville, city resources will be required to provide plan review and inspection services.
The agreement also states the city won’t charge MetroNet for “any permits required to construct, operate or maintain the fiber network in the public way including, but not limited to, fees for right-of-way excavation and restoration permits.”
MetroNet has also talked with Greenville Utilities Commission about using its utility poles when installing its network.
MetroNet officials will also install part of the network underground using a system that allows it to bore holes instead of digging up long stretches of right-of-way.
The council also will hold public hearings on:
- Annexation of .227 acres of Happy Trail Farms, located along the western right-of-way of the Southwest Bypass and about 300 feet south of Stantonsburg Road.
- A request from P.B. Builders to rezone 15 acres on the eastern side of Dickinson Avenue south of the intersection with Spring Forest Road from residential-agricultural to residential-high density.
- Amending the city code to add “grocery store” to the table of uses permitted in seven commercial zones.
- Reducing the separation distance of accessory structures between residential structures and other accessory structures from 10 feet to 5 feet.
- Clarifying setback requirement for residential pools.
- Adding “building supply; lumber and materials sales, plumbing and/or electrical supply excluding outside storage” as a permitted use in four industrial zones.
- Reducing the standard for illuminated signs from switching every 60 minutes to switching every 60 seconds.
- Adding “building supply; lumber and materials sales, plumbing and/or electrical supply excluding outside storage” as a special use in the heavy commercial zoning district.
- A request to designate the J. B. Cherry & Company — Frank Wilson Office Building, 106 E. Fourth St., as a local historic landmark.
- A resolution amending an economic development agreement with Grover Gaming.
Last year the council approved a job creation grant that would give Grover Gaming $100,000 annually for a maximum of five years because of a planned expansion.
Since then Grover Gaming announced it is adding more jobs and investing $12.5 million to buy and improve property north of Greenville.
Staff is recommended extending the job creation grant to seven years and funding $100,000 each year.
The meeting will be held electronically via Zoom at 6 p.m. and can be viewed live on GTV9 or streamed at www.greenvillenc.gov. Visit the website for information about participating in the public hearings and public comment period.