Infrastructure will provide high-speed Internet
Since midsummer, the city of Medina has been awaiting a map from Mediacom depicting a plan for when underserved parts of the city will get cable TV infrastructure capable of carrying high-speed Internet.
The map has arrived.
Medina City Administrator Scott Johnson described basic details to the Medina City Council, Wednesday, Nov. 6. He said that Mediacom is dividing Medina into six zones for construction. The three zones to the east will get cable infrastructure first, and construction crews will branch out from there to the west. The idea is to get broadband to the highest number of underserved customers first.
Mediacom has a three-year timeline for the infrastructure build-out, Johnson said. Construction is expected to begin in 2014 and end in 2016. Meanwhile, Medina City Hall is scheduled to be hooked up to broadband by Nov. 15 of this year, and the Public Works and Police departments recently got their broadband connections at their new address, 600 Clydesdale Trail. Broadband connections for the two facilities will mean that city departments no longer will be relying on T-1 connections for Internet service. As a result, the city will have enhanced capabilities for sending and receiving data.
Medina was the first city to notify the Lake Minnetonka Cable Commission that it will withdraw from the commission on Dec. 15. The council decided to contract directly with Mediacom instead of through the LMCC, with the new contract going into effect on Dec. 15. In this way, city officials hoped to speed up the process of extending broadband infrastructure to underserved parts of the city. As many as nine member cities, including Loretto, might follow Medina’s lead by exiting from the 17-member LMCC. As the LMCC looked at its budget, the commission decided to offer nonmember cities the opportunity to purchase community programing from the LMCC.
The Medina City Council also took up other business at its Nov. 6 meeting. Here are some meeting highlights.
The City Council accepted a concept plan for a neighborhood park in the Fields of Medina subdivision, located north of Highway 55 between Arrowhead Drive and Pinto Drive. Councilors also directed city staff to work with the developer on grading and design plans.
Park Commissioner Janet White said about the plan: “We (Park Commissioners) like the concept. It includes a lot of things on our wish list.”
The playground area is divided in two, with one part set aside for preschoolers and the other part designed for elementary school children, she said. Parents can hang out in between the two playgrounds to keep eyes on children of both age groups. The park also features a small soccer field that is not regulation size. A shelter in the center of the park brings everything in together.
The concept plan shows neighborhood trail connections, asphalt trails, three seating overlooks, a portable restroom, the two playground areas, bike racks, a drinking fountain, an open air picnic shelter with tables, a small soccer field, a tennis court with pickleball overlay, additional picnic space, a 25-stall parking lot with room for expansion and a children’s hardcourt devoted to four-square, hopscotch and a half basketball court. Park designers had to plan around a future water tower site located in a corner of the park.
Mayor Elizabeth Weir said the concept was “inviting” and a “very nice design.”
ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT FOR POLICE
The City Council authorized the Police Department to spend up to $10,000 in forfeiture funds for electronic equipment in its new home at 600 Clydesdale Trail. The fund balance currently is in excess of $150,000. The Medina Police pared down their original plans for electronics valued at $50,000 to be used at their new headquarters. When bids came in high, police decided to use forfeiture funds for a scaled-down electronics purchase, according to Police Chief Ed Belland.
The scaled-down plan includes a single, large TV for the training room. A laptop will input audio and video to the TV. A tablet will use the TV as a smart board for presentations. Police also will have TVs in three offices, two conference rooms, two break rooms and the lobby.
The City Council also:
APPROVED a two-year extension of Medina’s fire protection agreement with the city of Maple Plain. Annual increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index, with increases of at least 2 percent but not exceeding 5 percent.
DIRECTED city staff to draft an approval resolution for a side-yard setback variance for one of the detached town home units that was constructed in Lennar’s The Enclave at Brockton residential housing development. The town homes are located south of Hamel Legion Park.
APPROVED a raffle permit and temporary on-sale liquor license for a March 8 event at Holy Name of Jesus Church, located on County Road 24 at Brockton Lane.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]