Albertville expects better service with building tech upgrade

The Albertville City Council unanimously approved a building interconnection project and upgrade that should vastly improve the city’s technology needs and customer service.

The council also approved the RiverRider agreement for shared public transportation.



Staff had asked the council to consider technology improvements.

The council approved two motions, one authorizing staff to accept a quote for new switches and phone system hardware with networking resiliency set up with St. Michael-Albertville School District, not to exceed $52,000. The second was to accept a quote for SANS server hardware and upgrade, not to exceed $60,000.

City administrator Adam Nafstad said in his memo to the council, “Staff has received the quotes on all three components of the project. Currently staff is moving forward with the fiber component and recommends council to approve moving forward with remaining two components of the hardware for the communication upgrade and the server upgrade. All three components of the project were presented in detail to the council

Sept. 16.”

Nafstad said the projected total project costs are estimate between $180,000 and $200,000. Sufficient funds for the project were put into capital reserves in 2006 as part of the city hall project.

City clerk Kim Olson later said the plan is to put fiber in the ground this fall and have the improvements running by January.

“One of the issues we had is all of our internet and phones run through a T1 line, and other buildings by wireless antennae,” Olson said. “Parts of the antennae froze. Now there is a hardwire connection between all the buildings and should greatly speed up our services.”

Olson said the old system is so bogged down she couldn’t make updates to the city’s website without using a wireless hot spot.



In other news, the council unanimously approved the RiverRider agreement for shared public transportation services between Albertville, St. Michael, Hanover and Otsego.

“Albertville does not currently have a public transportation option,” administrator Nafstad noted in his report. “It is anticipated that this transportation option will primarily be used by the senior community and pre-school age children; however, the service will be available to all ages.”

Nafstad then spelled out the follow key issues:

• RiverRider will provide 10 hours of weekly service, over two days of each week (50 weeks per years). Service will be provided by selected routes and scheduled pick-ups (dial-a-ride) and cover the area shown on the attached Service Area Map. Albertville in its entirety is covered by the service area.

• The cost of the service is approximately $55 per hour, of which RiverRider will fund 85% from funding they received from State and Federal sources. The hourly rate is determined by a MnDOT cost share formula and is subject to minor adjustments annually. The Cities will be responsible for funding the remaining 15% (local share). The Cities will receive a reduction in their required local share in the amount of $1.25 per ride (the current cost per ride) for every ride with paid fare.

• The term of the agreement is for a three year period commencing on Jan. 1, 2014, and terminating Dec. 31, 2016. No individual city may withdraw from the agreement during its term without the written approval of all other participating cities.

In other action, the council:

AGREED to waive the underage drinking fine issued to Neighbor’s Bar and Grill, on the condition the bar use the money to purchase an electronic card reader.