“This is an entirely speculative project probably being driven by a handful of citizens who want their pet project to be paid for by the City and the City’s other residents. Just my conclusion.” – Chip Baltimore, Senior Fellow on the Lucas Municipal Broadband Project

Yesterday, I shared a note from the President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, David Williams outlining his concerns about the Magellan Feasibility study that is foundation for Prop B and the risk to taxpayers and the City’s financial health. 

Today’s note was written by Chip Baltimore, Senior Fellow at TPA (his bio is below).

I’ll go ahead and say it. Chip’s conclusion is an “eye opener”. 

I don’t know Chip. I don’t how he came to his conclusion other than through his experience and reading the Magellan documents. 

Chip’s note references the Magellan Workshop document:

I saw this last week, but paid more attention to the full feasibility study.  I think there are two main takeaways from this document.

    1. On page 5, Magellan’s market study shows that Suddenlink has good coverage in Lucas, but the limited survey data suggests that customers are not taking the service.  Remember, Suddenlink is the company that offers 1 Gigabit service for $59.95 for life.  This is a very telling point – if almost all Lucas consumers can get 1 Gig service for $60 but they still aren’t purchasing it, why would they pay double that for the City’s 1 Gig service?
    2. The End-Of-Year Cash vs Interfund Amounts analysis on p. 12 shows that under Magellan’s recommended model of 55% take rate at $115 per month service, the project still doesn’t have any cash at the end of the year until 2032, ten years into the project.  And even after 20 years, they’ll only have $3.1 million, not a very good return on investment after 20 years.

 This is an entirely speculative project probably being driven by a handful of citizens who want their pet project to be paid for by the City and the City’s other residents.  Just my conclusion.



About Chip Baltimore – Senior Fellow, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Chip Baltimore is a former four-term state representative from Iowa, having spent more than five years as Chair of the Iowa House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and spent time as Vice Chair of the Commerce and Government Oversight committees. During his eight years of public service, he also served on the Economic Growth, Local Government, Ways and Means, State Government, and Agricultural committees.  Throughout his tenure in the legislature, he focused on making government more effective and cost-efficient for taxpayers.

In the private sector, Baltimore was employed as general counsel with a publicly-traded financial services organization for 13 years.  Previously, he was in private legal practice for 14 years, representing clients of all types, from individuals to Fortune 500 companies.

Baltimore has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in finance from Iowa State University, and obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota.  He is licensed to practice law in Iowa and Missouri, as well as the federal Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa.

Additional Background: