Medina to get Internet service for 2 city buildings

The Medina City Council, Tuesday, Oct. 1, directed City Administrator Scott Johnson to approve a contract under which Mediacom would provide cable TV and Internet service to Medina City Hall and the newly renovated office and warehouse building that soon will house city departments.

At the meeting the council also took up other business, including recognition of Sgt. Steve Lundell, who officially retired that day after volunteering more than 15,000 hours during 14 years of service in the Medina Police Reserves. Lundell was the first person to volunteer for the Police Reserves in 1999. Then Medina revived a reserve program that had been dormant.

Here are some highlights from the Oct. 1 meeting.

MEDIACOM CONTRACT

The contract with Mediacom would cost Medina no more than $5,280 in service fees annually. The contract would call for Mediacom to provide cable TV and Internet service by Oct. 28 for City Hall and the Police and Public Works building at 600 Clydesdale Trail.

The Oct. 28 date is important to the Police Department. The Police and Public Works departments are scheduled to move into the 600 Clydesdale Trail building during the last week of October. When the Medina Police officially open for business on Nov. 1 in their new home, the department will need to exchange data via the Internet with agencies such as the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Currently, at City Hall, Medina Police connect to these agencies via T-1 line — a slower process than will be available through Mediacom’s fiber optic cable.

Prior to the meeting, Johnson said that Mediacom and Medina still are working on a plan that will include a schedule for hooking up businesses and residents to cable infrastructure. Because the end of the construction season is approaching, Mediacom and the city are concentrating on getting cable and Internet service to the two city buildings this year. Construction for the rest of the 30 miles of infrastructure build out is expected to begin next year.

Meanwhile, Medina has notified the Lake Minnetonka Communications Commission that after Dec. 15 the city no longer will be a member of the commission. After that, Medina’s separate contract with Mediacom will go into effect. The communications commission is a consortium of 17 cities that currently contract together for services from Mediacom. However, some cities, including Orono, have considered following Medina’s example of negotiating separate contracts in hopes of speeding up cable infrastructure construction in under-served areas.

BREDE ESTATE

The City Council looked at a planning application from the estate of Caroline Brede for property at 2929 and 2921 Lakeshore Ave., located south of Brook Street on Lake Independence. City councilors directed Medina staff to prepare a resolution approving both the preliminary and final plat for creating two lots from four lots that are zoned Urban Residential. The lots are located in the Shoreland Overlay District.

City Planner Dusty Finke said the four original lots are substandard in size according to Medina’s zoning regulations. They span 52,681 square feet, approximately one and a quarter acres. A cabin and garage are located on the north portion of the property. The southern portion of the property is located  on a bluff approximately 40 feet above Lake Independence.

Mayor Liz Weir said the Brede Estate proposal was clearly an improvement over the existing substandard lots.

The Medina Planning Commission recommended six conditions of approval. One is that grading and drainage improvements be constructed that would direct drainage away from the bluff and toward existing storm sewers.

MEDINA CELEBRATION DAY

The council approved a resolution recognizing volunteers and contributors to Medina Celebration Day. In a second resolution, the council accepted donations for Celebration Day. One donation came from the late Medina Mayor Tom Crosby, who contributed $1,296.28.

Mayor Weir said 167 businesses and organizations contributed to Celebration Day in one way or another.

“It was a superb effort,” she said. “It’s getting better and better every year.”

City Administrator Johnson expressed appreciation for volunteers and city staff who planned and worked at the event. In particular he mentioned Administrative Assistant Linda Lane, who coordinated Celebration Day.

OTHER

The City Council also:

APPROVED a letter supporting discontinuance of the Hennepin County Soil and Water Conservation District and transfer of the district’s duties to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. Joel Settles, of Hennepin County Environmental Services, said the conservation district has lost a significant portion of its funding over the years. He added that it would be more cost effective for the county to take over delivery of services under the Wetland Conservation Act.

APPROVED a resolution describing proposed expenditures for removing vegetation from the Lake Independence outlet channel between Independence Road and Pagenkopf Road. Medina’s estimated cost share is $16,685.95. The city of Independence, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Pioneer Sarah Creek Watershed Management Commission are partnering with Medina in the project.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at susan.vancleaf@ecm-inc.com

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