A shout out to DMEA's board of directors

By Tom Huerkamp


Dear Editor:

I want to give a big shout out to the board of directors of Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and their staff for moving forward rapidly with the fiber-to-premise broadband Internet service. As a resident of Orchard City I am particularly elated that we will be able to sign up in May for this world-class service.

However, more importantly it drives a nail in the completely nutty idea that the Town of Orchard City under the leadership of Mayor Don Suppes had of spending $50,000 to take fiber to water tanks off 2100 Road with the idea of making connectivity to wireless Internet providers. Who in their right mind would continue to use wireless (what the majority of us are saddled with now) when DMEA is going to bring fiber optic cable directly into our homes and businesses. To top it off it appears that they will provide it a substantially lower cost than we are paying now for incredibly lousy service.

It has puzzled and worried me that Don Suppes very forcefully led Orchard City, and only Orchard City, down the path of being the entity to buck the overwhelming support throughout all the other towns in the county and unincorporated area under the leadership of our county commissioners. Now that he is a candidate for county commissioner I am concerned that his position on this should be a concern to all voters in the county.

When such an idiotic statement came forth that the Town of Orchard City did not need anything better to manage the town's business than what we have now I really hit the panic button. So the airplane industry should have stopped developing when we reached a high level of prop-driven aircraft and not advance to jet propulsion, or radio was good enough so don't advance to TV?

I attended several of the Orchard City trustee meetings on behalf of Delta County Economic Development to advocate that Orchard City join everyone else in Delta County in opting out of Senate Bill 152. We asked that they join in support of Region 10, the county and all other towns in backing the plan for extending the middle mile of fiber optic Internet service via DMEA's service lines to all of its substations. That eventually led to DMEA making the decision to move the middle mile provider to bring fiber to every electric meter customer who wants it.

Mayor Suppes very vigorously used his seat to discourage and perhaps intimidate the trustees to not vote for any form of participation including denying the citizens of his town a chance to vote on Senate Bill 152 as done throughout the rest of the county. So I am asking that the residents of Orchard City send commissioner candidate Don Suppes a strong rebuke of his position on the critical issue by overwhelmingly voting to opt out of Senate Bill 152 in this year's municipal elections in April. Let us send a message to the rest of Delta County that we feel as strongly about this as they do and in doing so apologize for the position our leaders took.

Tom Huerkamp
Orchard City