Medina to exit LMCC at year-end

Contract with Mediacom will go into effect then

After months of negotiations, the city of Medina has taken official steps to withdraw from the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission (LMCC) and contract instead with Mediacom in order to hasten full build out of infrastructure needed for cable television and high speed internet.

The Medina City Council Tuesday, April 16, directed city staff to write a letter notifying the LMCC that the city intends to withdraw at the end of this year from the joint powers agreement under which 17 member cities are contracting together with Mediacom. The City Council also approved a contract between Mediacom and Medina under which the company will have a non-exclusive cable franchise to operate, construct and maintain a cable system within the city.

Attorney Brian Grogan, of Moss & Barnett, has been guiding Medina through legal requirements involved in making the transition. He reported that the city couldn’t exit from the LMCC prior to the end of 2013. However, Medina must notify the LMCC of its intent to withdraw before Oct. 15. Any contract with Mediacom cannot officially go into effect until the city withdraws from the LMCC.

This complicated legal pathway left the City Council in the interesting position of needing to pass a resolution affirming the LMCC franchise agreement with Mediacom. The franchise will remain in effect until the date on which Medina withdraws from the LMCC. At that point Medina’s own franchise agreement with Mediacom will go into effect.

Grogan noted that Mediacom has been planning to start construction this summer for this year’s additions to Medina’s cable infrastructure. Mediacom will voluntarily go through with these construction plans, despite the fact that its contract with Medina will not go into effect until the end of the year.

Medina’s franchise agreement with Mediacom calls for build out of 30 miles of infrastructure (100 percent access) within three years, and work may be accelerated by mutual agreement.

Medina resident Judy Mallett has been spearheading Medina’s quest for expediting full build-out of cable TV infrastructure. In a letter to the city, she thanked Mayor Tom Crosby for his leadership in developing the agreement and said that she learned a lot from him. She also expressed her sadness about his current fight against cancer.

At the end of the meeting, the City Council accepted Mayor Crosby’s resignation from his position due to his health problems. The council appointed Acting Mayor Liz Weir to succeed him and Planning Commissioner Kathleen Martin to succeed Weir on the City Council.

The City Council also took up other business. Here are some highlights.

 

PUBLIC WORKS/POLICE BIDS

“We got a lot for our dollars here,” said Acting Mayor Weir, after she learned that bids came in lower than expected for remodeling the former Clam Corps office/warehouse building at 600 Clydesdale Trail. The building will serve as homes for the city Public Works and Police Departments.

RJM Construction, which is serving as project construction manager, recommended that Medina accept bids for eight bid categories and 22 quote categories. Because the basic bids came in lower than expected, RJM suggested that the city also accept alternate bids amounting to $137,366. The money would pay for a men’s and women’s toilet/locker room and painting of exterior masonry walls. Total construction budget will be $2,649,269.

After accepting the bids and quotes, the City Council reassigned them to RJM Construction.

Public Works Director Steve Scherer said he found a way to save on costs. He secured a surplus generator that had been in service for only 154 hours.

A representative from RJM said he expected construction to start on May 15 and Police and Public Works are likely to be moving in by November.

 

OTHER

The City Council also:

APPROVED the final plat and development agreement between the city of Medina and Mattamy Partnership for the Fields of Medina West single-family home development located north of Highway 55 and east of Arrowhead Drive. The plat includes 34 of the 64 lots that are part of the preliminary plat, as well as a future water tower site in the park.

ACCEPTED the feasibility report for a mill and overlay of Willowbrook Drive in southern Medina and set the public improvement and assessment hearing for May 21. Orono is planning improvements to its portion of Willowbrook Drive at a cost of $23,848. Medina residents would be partially assessed for Medina’s portion, which is estimated to cost $23,773.

DISCUSSED timing for street improvement projects. The City Council directed city staff to plan for a mill and overlay this year for Willow Drive south of County Road 24, along with culvert work for Chippewa Road West and Tuckborough Farms Road. Improvements to Chippewa Road West itself and roads in Tuckborough Farms would come in 2014.

up arrow