Salem, Oregon – HB 3061 was signed by Governor Brown on Monday. The bill was chiefsponsored

by Rep. E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls).

House Bill 3061 amends ORS 271 to allow municipalities to transfer property acquired from

government entities to private corporations if used to provide broadband internet services to the

citizens. It allows a political subdivision to waive and relinquish interest within 20 years of the

transfer if such action is determined to be in the public interest.

Specifically, ORS 271 required the city of Merrill to hold the property transferred by the county

for 20 years before it could be transferred to a private entity for the benefits of high speed, broad

band service. HB 3061 will convey assets of a foreclosed cable company to transfer from

Klamath County to the City of Merrill for the provision of broadband service.

“This bill is narrow in focus, but broad in its impact for two small communities in Klamath

county. There was a need for clear authority to convey property for the express purpose of

providing broadband service. HB 3061 immediately remedies the issues of ORS 271 to allow

the transfer of this property, specifically for broadband internet access, to a private entity to

provide this modern service,” said Rep. Reschke.

Existing infrastructure from an abandoned cable company plant in Merrill has been in a steady

state of decline after being neglected and unmaintained for about a decade. Small rural cable

television providers abandoned their facilities and moved away. These businesses left behind

infrastructure attached to utility poles that were used to deliver cable television services. This

infrastructure can be converted to allow modern high speed, broadband internet services

through fiber optic cable strung in place of the old abandoned coaxial cables that previously

delivered cable television signals.

“There is an emergency clause on this bill to take effect immediately. The private entity is ready

to roll out their service. People in the communities of Merrill and Malin are eager to access the

internet at speeds comparable to their urban counterparts,” said Rep. Reschke.


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