The Medina City Council, Tuesday, May 7, approved a letter to the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission giving formal notice of withdrawal from the LMCC effective no later than Dec. 15.
Medina is one of 17 cities that have collaborated with each other via the LMCC. The cooperative is in renewal negotiations with Mediacom for cable television service. The current franchise agreement between Mediacom and the LMCC ends on Dec. 15. According to the withdrawal letter, Medina will continue to pay fees to the LMCC until Dec. 15. The letter also says that if the LMCC were to terminate, extend or renew its franchise with Mediacom prior to Dec. 15, Medina would withdraw from the LMCC on the date this happens.
Lack of access to high speed internet and cable TV service has been an issue for some Medina residents and businesses for some time. Both types of signals travel over fiber optic cables provided by Mediacom. Under the current franchise agreement, homes and businesses in rural Medina are located too far apart to be eligible for extension of Mediacom cable infrastructure to them. Four other LMCC cities are similarly underserved, and the LMCC has made full build out of infrastructure a priority in negotiations for the new franchise.
Prompted by resident complaints, Medina has been negotiating directly with Mediacom for cable TV access and services. In April the City Council approved a contract with Mediacom that will go into effect once the city withdraws from the LMCC. Attorney Brian Grogan, of Moss & Barnett, advised the city that it is obligated to stay with the LMCC until the expiration of its current franchise with Mediacom but Medina must submit a withdrawal letter to the LMCC by Oct. 15.
Medina’s contract with Mediacom provides for full build out of cable infrastructure in the city within two to three years.
On May 7, the City Council also took up other business.
RECOGNIZING TOM CROSBY
Tom Crosby resigned as Mayor of Medina on April 16 because of his battle with pancreatic cancer, and May 7 was recognition time for Crosby. Newly appointed Mayor Elizabeth Weir presented him with a certificate recognizing and honoring him for his dedicated service to the city.
The certificate says, “Mayor Crosby provided extraordinary leadership and guidance on city finance and general budget matters, public improvement projects and matters related to the efficient provision of fire protection to the city.”
Crosby served Medina while the city was involved in a number of significant projects. They included forming the Uptown Hamel Redevelopment District and infrastructure improvements, adopting Medina’s 2010 – 2030 Comprehensive Plan and completing numerous park improvements, such as the field house at Hamel Legion Park, Tomann Preserve and playground equipment. He also was involved in creating a financial management plan and road improvement funding policy and land use development approvals, including Open Systems International, Hamel Station, the Enclave, the Enclave at Brockton Lane and Fields of Medina. Recently, he was involved in purchasing and planning renovations of the Clam Corps office/warehouse building for use by Medina Public Works and Police Departments.
The City Council chambers was filled when the council recognized Crosby. Both the audience and council gave him a standing ovation. He said, “I regret having to step down.”
The City Council also accepted Crosby’s donation of his last salary check for serving as Mayor. He has been donating his Mayor’s salary to the city.
OATHS OF OFFICE, ACTING MAYOR
At the start of the meeting, Acting Mayor Elizabeth Weir took her oath of office as Mayor. This made her Tom Crosby’s official successor. Then Planning Commissioner Kathleen Martin took her oath of office as a City Councilor, succeeding Weir.
City Councilors Jeff Pederson and John Anderson both were nominated for Acting Mayor. After a secret paper ballot, City Administrator Scott Johnson announced that Anderson had won the position on a four to one vote. Anderson moved from the Planning Commission to his City Council seat in January.
ENCLAVE AT BROCKTON
The City Council approved the final plat for the Enclave at Brockton third addition, located south of Hamel Legion Park and west of Brockton Lane. The third addition includes 21 detached townhome lots and three outlots to be maintained by the homeowners’ association.
US Home Corporation is the developer for the Enclave at Brockton. The City Council granted approval for the preliminary plat for the three-phase residential development on July 17, 2012. The plat showed 95 single family homes and 23 detached townhomes.
RESERVE OF MEDINA
The City Council directed city staff to draft approval resolutions related to the Reserve of Medina single family housing development, proposed by Toll Brothers for an 81 acre site east of County Road 116 and south of Hackamore Road. Toll Brothers requested rezoning of the site, which has numerous wetlands, from Rural Residential-Urban Reserve to R1 Single Family Residential, along with approval of a preliminary plat containing 126 single family lots.
City Councilor Anderson said he was “adamant” about the need for a park in the area. Although Medina has a number of parks, many of them are in rural areas. Also, the city has approved several large residential developments in the area of the Reserve.
Anderson had noticed that children from the Reserve would have to cross County Road 116 to get to the nearest park. “I can’t imagine a mother allowing her child to cross 116,” he said.
Both the council and representatives of Toll Brothers looked at the preliminary plat to see whether any of the outlots would be large enough for a park. The discussion ended with everyone, including Anderson, agreeing that it was too late to add a park to the preliminary plat.
Medina Police Chief Ed Belland said the Medina Entertainment Center, located at 500 Highway 55, has requested an administrative permit for an outdoor concert on June 16. MEC is expecting an attendance of 3,000 people.
Belland said police would be monitoring the situation closely. If they receive numerous complaints about noise, they will ask the bands to tone it down. Medina Police have dealt with outdoor concerts before at Inn Kahoots in Hamel during the Hamel Rodeo, and Belland was confident that police also could handle the MEC event. Because MEC will serve alcohol, the area will be fenced.
Mayor Weir asked that neighbors, including Gramercy residents, be notified of the concert.