Sheldon city council

Premier Communications chief marketing and sales officer Scott TeStroete talks to the Sheldon City Council about the fiber cable updates the company has made to the community over the past few years. TeStroete presented to the council on Oct. 6.

SHELDON—Sheldon might be Premier Communications’ version of Silicon Valley.

Scott TeStroete, chief marketing and sales officer of Premier Communications, gave an update on the business to the Sheldon City Council during its meeting on Oct. 6.

The cable, internet and telephone provider in 2018 purchased Hospers Telephone Co. territories, which included Sheldon.

TeStroete said Premier Communications has since made a significant investment in Sheldon.

The next section of fiber installing to 310 homes and businesses in central Sheldon is underway with tentative completion in the first quarter of 2022.

When the project is completed, Premier Communications will have $5 million of fiber invested in Sheldon.

“We are accomplishing what we set out to do,” TeStroete said. “We purchased HTC and we’ve rebuilt a large portion of the community.”

He said Sheldon will be one of the few places in the state that is completely fiber.

“One thing we like to say is fiber is future proof,” TeStroete said. “Fiber is everything.”

Councilman Wayne Barahona asked if there will be a change in services upcoming with all of the added fiber cables that will be added in Sheldon.

TeStroete said new speeds will be coming.

“There are speeds for those with coax cables can’t have. They can have the download but not the upload,” he said. “It used to be people wanted faster speeds download with Netflix, Hulu, whatever. Now the upload is starting to come meaning the information you send out to others.”

Barahona asked if Premier offered some protection from ransomware and TeStroete said the company filters approximately 93 percent of junk e-mail.

Before TeStroete gave his update, Schwarz Sanitary Service owner Jeff Schwarz gave an update to the council on how the recycling efforts were going.

Schwarz Sanitary Service and De Kruif Disposal representatives talked to the council during the Sept. 15 meeting about ways to increase recycling in town so the container in the parking lot of the

Sheldon Community Services Center would be use less frequently.

“Since the meeting I’ve gone to all of the businesses that we have that are billed on a monthly billing period. I have one that used the downtown dumpster all of time, one that used it some of the time or that used it when they could when it wasn’t full,” Schwarz said. “I’ve worked something out with all of them so none of the businesses that I have should bring it there.”

Later in the meeting, councilman Tom Eggers thanked Schwarz for his update and urged Sheldon residents to utilize the curbside recycling Schwarz Sanitary Service and De Kruif Disposal offer.

Mayor Greg Geels also used the public comment portion of the meeting to thank Shantel Oostra for serving as the Sheldon chamber director for the past two years.

Oostra’s last day in the position was Friday, but she plans to stay in the position part-time until her successor is found.

“It’s going to be hard to see you go,” Geels said. “We have very much appreciated all of the work you have put in to your role as the chamber director. A year of COVID brought initial challenges and you rose to the occasion. We are very thankful that you were able to give us a couple of years. We wish we could keep you, but we wish you the best as you move on.”

The council went into closed session at the end of the meeting for the second straight time to discuss the potential purchase of real estate and again no action was taken afterward.

Other action the council took included, approving:

  • An ordinance pertaining to the new cemetery rates.
  • A contract for development of the former West 11th Street right of way.
  • The dedication of $757,338.25 in American Rescue Plan funds to the water tower project at the corner of Country Club Road and 16th Street.
  • A resolution for a utility easement with Northwest Iowa Community College.
  • Delivery of a special warranty deed to Kerwin and Kathy Sterler for 1401 S. Second Ave.
  • The hiring of Michael Brouwer as street operator with a starting rate of $18.99 an hour.
  • A new liquor license and a new cigarette permit for Kwik Star Inc.
  • Sheldon Community Ambulance Team applicant Jessica Postma.
  • The O’Brien County Snowtrackers route for 2021-22.