The city of Waupaca hopes to finds a buyer for its wireless Internet service by the end of this year.
The Common Council voted 8-0 on Oct. 18 to move forward with that option. Deb Fenske and John Lockwood were absent.
If a buyer is not found by Dec. 31, the Common Council will discuss Waupaca Online again in January.
“Customers of Waupaca Online – we are not shutting it down,” Mayor Brian Smith said. “Our hope is to find somebody to continue this. We will do whatever we can to make sure we can help in that situation.”
The utility has about 300 customers. It was established about nine years ago and is regulated by Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission.
The loss of more than 50 customers in the last 12 months brought the issue to the forefront.
Ald. Paul Mayou is chairman of the city’s Finance Committee, which brought this recommendation before the council. He called the council’s decision a conservative choice that does not include doing something radical as “pulling the plug.”
He said it gives the city time to consider options.
In an Oct. 14 memo to the Common Council, City Administrator Henry Veleker said staff have reworked projections to further reduce monthly expenses and thus reduce the projected monthly loss.
The goal is to continue to operate, maintain and improve Waupaca Online’s position.