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Lanesboro to get new cable/internet service

Tue, Jun 27th, 2006
Posted in Government

LANESBORO - Brian Jerviss of Ace Communications shared the details of an alternative cable TV/high-speed Internet service for Lanesboro at the regular Lanesboro City Council meeting June 19. Jerviss presented the proposed cable franchise agreement to the council and answered questions about Aces plans there. Service will be provided through existing phone lines. Old cable lacking the capability to keep moisture out has been replaced; newly installed cable will be able to support the higher bandwidth needed for TV service.

Ace hopes to test the system in July and August with a possible public offering as soon as August. Ace currently offers such service in Rushford, Houston, Hokah, LaCrescent, Dakota, Caledonia, and Eitzen. Lanesboro, however, will get a new type of equipment that will utilize IP technology rather than the Motorola phone data equipment used in the other cities. Ace plans to bury fiber optic from Lanesboro to Canton; the pipe is already in the ground in Lanesboro, so there will not be a lot of construction necessary.

A public access channel (with a maximum value of $5,000) will be included with the franchise with Ace. A fiber optic line will be installed in City Hall if necessary. HDTV may be available as soon as next year. According to Jerviss, the construction of a new head end in Rushford with MPEG4 technology will be HD ready. At this time, only the city itself and perhaps Whalan will receive TV/high-speed Internet service; reception is dependent on distance (12,000 feet from the distribution center in each city). Later, rural areas may be able to receive such service as well. Channel line-ups have not been solidified yet; however, Jerviss said Ace plans to do as many twin cities channels as they can.

The council agreed to review the franchise agreement and make a decision on it at their July 5 meeting.

Sidewalk and junk

ordinance hearings

Dual public hearings were held at the council meeting. The Garnatzs appeared to question the measurement of their sidewalk, claiming to have a fifty-foot lot. The council decided to have the sidewalk remeasured for the Garnatz property as well as the neighboring Victorian House. Following the hearing, the council set the sidewalk replacement interest rate at 4.83 percent for seven years.

Jerry Haugen and Nick Charlebois came to the junk ordinance hearing, questioning whether they should have received violation letters from the city. Haugen told the council his sons pickup had expired plates, but he was not planning on licensing it until he was going to drive it.

Charlebois informed the council his landlord had told him to park his van in the yard. He has no plans of driving the vehicle with expired tabs, but moved it so the lawn could be mowed.

City Attorney Tom Manion told both men, We cast a wide net. It sounds like you guys are ok, after reviewing the ordinance.

Kirsten Mensink asked to see pictures of her junk, commenting she thought perhaps the junk was construction-related at her Scanlon House property. In all, close to fifty letters had been sent out in an effort to clean up the city.

Kimball living memorial

Mike and Jennifer Kimball came to the council with a request to use land on the upper side of the dam just below the lookout for a living memorial to their son Ben who passed away in a recent motorcycle accident. Unsure of the ownership of the property, the city plans to check on a survey completed by the DNR about eight years ago when the parking lot near the dam was built. If the property belongs to the city, the Kimballs are asking permission to clean up the area, plant a memorial blue spruce, and place a brick in memory of Ben there, thus beginning a memorial area for others who have lost family members. Ben had written a paper about the positive effect the city of Lanesboro had had on him. The Kimballs would like to engrave that text on a stone at this site as well. Jennifer described the proposed memorial as extremely low maintenance.

City staff will check into ownership of the property and the concept will be presented to the Park Board. City administrator Bobbie Torgerson suggested another location could be at the top of the trail near the Coffee Street Bridge; the bridge committee is already planning on placing dedicated bricks there.

Other business

In other business, the council:

accepted a $31,500 proposal from Jon Willford for the Hillcrest property. (Willford intends to use some of the property for an addition on a neighboring house and the rest for a spec house construction.);

discussed the foggy lease contracts with the museum and the Chamber of Commerce and decided to review the ordinance further and standardize the leases;

granted a gambling permit to the Union Prairie Church for bingo during Buffalo Bill Days and a one day beer permit to the Lions during the Tram;

heard someone had taped cardboard over the no parking signs on Hwy. 250 during Art in the Park. This is tampering with state highway signs, a serious offense; if anyone had been injured as a result the offenders would have been liable.

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