Medina, Mediacom lose $170K broadband grant

Medina Mayor Bob Mitchell thanks Anne Klaers for her 10 years of service to the city. She wears many hats, including serving as a transcriptionist, evidence technician, coordinator of Medina Celebration Day and finance clerk. (Sun Press photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

Mediacom applies for new one

By Susan Van Cleaf

[email protected]

A rule change has resulted in the loss of a $170,000 grant that was intended for construction of broadband infrastructure that would bring high speed internet to under-served parts of Medina.

Medina City Administrator Scott Johnson brought the news to the Medina City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Johnson said the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development had awarded the grant to Mediacom. The cable service provider expected to use the money to defray costs of constructing broadband infrastructure in Medina in 2016. Mediacom completed the construction by the end of that year. However, DEED changed its rules to require that the construction take place after Jan. 11, 2017.

Mediacom is responding to the loss of the grant money by applying for a broadband grant from DEED to cover construction costs for six miles of broadband infrastructure in Medina in 2018, Johnson said.

He asked for and got City Council approval of a letter from Medina to DEED that supports Mediacom’s grant application.

For several years, Mediacom has been building new broadband infrastructure to bring cable TV and high speed Internet to under-served parts of Medina, many of which are rural with homes that are some distance apart. Mediacom has been paying for some of the construction, and Medina is using franchise fees to pay for the rest.

The letter to DEED from Medina says, “Mediacom has recently prepared a plant design for all the unserved areas and has assured the City completion of the remaining 48-mile construction will enable Mediacom to extend broadband service to all unserved areas of the City without exception.”

The City Council also took up other business on Aug. 2. Here are meeting highlights.

NIGHT TO UNITE

Several City Councilors reflected on their visits to Night to Unite neighborhood parties on Tuesday, Aug. 1 and said they had fun seeing police and firefighters relating to residents. Councilor Kathleen Martin said, “Watching police, firefighters and first responders interact with kids was joyful.”

Public Safety Director Ed Belland said nothing is more important to his department than building community relationships, and the Night to Unite parties were an example. He thanked the City Council and staff for visiting parties with police and firefighters. “We have great leadership, and that makes our job easier,” he said.

Mayor Bob Mitchell thanked all the neighborhoods that hosted parties. Party locations included Wild Meadows, Lakeshore Park, park in Morningside, Holy Name Drive, Fields of Medina, Bridgewater, Medina Ridge Condominiums, Cherry Hill, Carriage Drive by Tuckburrough Farms, Spruce Way neighborhood and Medina Townhomes. Firefighters from Hamel, Maple Plain, Long Lake and Loretto joined Medina Police and City Councilors in making party visits.

Medina Mayor Bob Mitchell presents a certificate of recognition to Medina Police Officer Jeremiah Jessen and thanks him for 10 years of service to the city. (Sun Press photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

10 YEARS OF SERVICE

The City Council recognized two Medina employees for 10 years of service to the city.

Police Officer Jeremiah has been a top traffic officer for 10 years and was recognized in 2011 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving as an All Star Traffic Officer in the fight against drunk driving. He became the department’s drug recognition expert in 2010 and investigator in 2017.

Anne Klaers has served as professional transcriptionist for the city for 10 years and has been cross trained as backup to the police department’s full-time administrative assistant. She also took on additional responsibilities as Finance Clerk in 2016 and coordinator of Medina Celebration Day. She completed training as an evidence technician and assists police in managing evidence.

CUP FOR BUDDY AND KIM SNOW

Buddy and Kim Snow requested a conditional use permit for constructing a second principal dwelling on 71 acres of property at 2402 Hamel Road. Kim’s parents, David and Kitty Crosby, own the property, located in the Rural Residential zoning district.

The City Council directed city staff to prepare a resolution granting the conditional use permit.

City Planner Dusty Finke said that a second home is allowed on properties in the Rural Residential zone, if a property is larger than 40 acres. Neither house could be sold without a subdivision of the property.

Kim Snow said the property is “really beautiful,” and she wanted to keep it in the family. A second house would make it possible for three generations of her family to be together.

OTHER

The City Council also:

ACCEPTED the low bid of $203,831.90 from Hydro-Clean for lining sanitary sewer mains in the County Road 116/ Highway 55 area.

APPROVED an off-site gambling permit for the Hamel Lions to conduct lawful charitable gambling in the form of bingo at the Hamel Community Building on Sept. 16 during Medina Celebration Day.

APPROVED an agreement between the city of Medina and Process System Integration that allows the company to stockpile fill in anticipation of development on company property.

DIRECTED city staff to write a letter to Susan Van Cleaf, community editor for the Crow River News, thanking her for covering Medina for 15 years.