City council ponders extension request
After considering a few options Monday night, the Baldwin City Council decided to table a request by Mediacom to extend a deadline imposed in its charter agreement with the city for providing digital television and high-speed Internet service to the city.
Bill Fisher, general manager of Mediacom, was on hand to request the deadline extension from July 1 to Oct. 1. The company has run into trouble bringing the interconnect necessary to supply Baldwin with the new services. But, he said they think it can happen by October.
"We feel like this is a reachable date," said Fisher.
Under terms of the charter agreement which Mediacom has with the city, those two services were to be available by July 1 or the city could impose payment of a performance bond of up to $50,000. Discussion centered on possible ways that bond could be imposed.
Fisher suggested possible discounts or free installation to customers, but didn't have firm plans for how that might occur. Councilman Ted Brecheisen Jr. suggested a refund to each of the city's 902 cable customers of $55. There were other suggestions, but eventually the consensus was to table the matter.
"I'm not in favor of giving the extension without some sort of answer for imposing the penalty," said Brecheisen.
Council president Marilyn Pearse agreed.
"I think that the options are too gray," said Pearse. "There is too much play in them."
The council will consider the request at its next meeting after more details are known.
In other business Monday night, the council approved two ordinances which will stiffen penalties for underage drinkers who choose to drive. One mirrors the state law that calls for a one-year suspension of driver's licenses for those ages 16 to 21 who are caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .02 to .08. The second gives city prosecutors another alternative when charging the same group.
The council also approved an ordinance authorizing the sale of General Obligation Bonds for construction of Sixth Street, redeeming temporary bonds for the construction of U.S. Highway 56 and refunding Series 1992 and 1994 GO Bonds in the amount of $1,795,000. The council also approved a resolution directing the sale and delivery of $1,760,000 General Obligation Refunding and Improvement Bonds for the project.
Also, the council approved an agreement with the Baldwin City Recreation Commission to operate the city pool again this summer. The recreation commission served in that role last year for the first time.
"I and members of the commission feel good about entering into this agreement again," said Monte Ezell, recreation commission director.
The council also approved the lease-purchase option for a new pickup for $26,140. It will be used for snow plowing and hauling heavy trailers among other items. The lease-purchase of a new copier for City Hall was also approved at $4,999.
A request to conduct a 5 kilometer run by the Citizens for Baldwin City on May 20 was approved. A request to grant a temporary waiver for no parking at 115 Ames for an auction April 23 was denied because of safety factors.