City okays loan for start-up fiber network company

    Council members Monday approved a $700,000 no-interest loan to a new fiber network company being started by four local men.
    Gigabit, LLC is owned by Russ Pankonin, Bill Brophy, Ben Brophy and John Paisley, who have plans to install a network of fiber in the city of Imperial that would provide phone, internet and cable service locally.
    According to paperwork filed with the city, the $700,000 loan will be used for infrastucture costs (engineering to customer installation), and those funds will be paid out in three installments over three years.
    The $700,000 will is coming from LB 840 city sales tax money in the economic development fund.
    Community Development Director Jason Tuller, who oversees the sales tax funds, said the company will receive $500,000 in year one. An additional $100,000 will be loaned in year two as funds allow, and the final $100,000 in year three as funds allow.
    Gigabit will being paying the loan back five years after the first loan payment is made at $35,000 per year until the note is paid off in 2045.
    The city’s loan review committee initially approved the loan request on July 15, then the request gained Citizens Advisory Committee approval on July 19.
    The city council must also approve all requests for sales tax funds, which came Monday on a unanimous 4-0 vote.

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