|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - July 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Livingston terminates cable franchise
Polk County Enterprise - July 2009
LIVINGSTON – City Council, on Tuesday, voted unaminously to terminate the city’s franchise agreement with RB3 communications. The franchise is currently being managed by VersaLink Media who had representatives on hand to reassure council members and the public of its intention to provide quality service to the city. The franchise had previously been run by Rapid Communications LLC, who is purported to now be defunct. It was purchased by RB3 LLC in March of this year and subsequently transferred to Telecom (Not to be LIVINGSTON – City Council, on Tuesday, voted unaminously to terminate the city’s franchise agreement with RB3 communications.
The franchise is currently being managed by VersaLink Media who had representatives on hand to reassure council members and the public of its intention to provide quality service to the city. The franchise had previously been run by Rapid Communications LLC, who is purported to now be defunct. It was purchased by RB3 LLC in March of this year and subsequently transferred to Telecom (Not to be confused with Telcom which is owned by Livingston Telephone Company) just a few weeks later. Telecom purchased the Livingston franchise along with that of Corrigan, but all indications are it will sell the franchise to VersaLink who owns a franchise in Goodrich. “We have already purchased amplifiers for the entire system and we have been replacing them,” a Versalink representative said. “These amplifiers will have a 128-channel capacity and will handle two-way traffic, meaning it will be capable of handling internet traffic.”
“Customers may notice some outages as we replace these amplifiers,” a Versalink representative said. “They can tune to channel 59 to see what we are doing and when we are doing it. As we progress through this we will add information to that channel. We are in the process of creating an online channel guide as well. We want to improve the system and become a part of the community.” “A big negative has been the billing system,” Alderman Ray Hill said. “RB3 had everyone on different billing cycles,” a Versalink representative said. “When we changed everyone to a single billing date we sent out a pro-rated credit that confused some people, but that is in the past.” City approves easement request for Judicial Center Some of the contstruction for the proposed Judicial Center on the vacant lot across from the courthouse will cross the property lines into the right of way. The city has opted to grant an easement, thus clearing the way for construction to move forward. Sherman St. railroad warning devices approved Council approved a request from Union Pacific Railroad for a warning device to be installed at the Sherman St. crossing. The city could have opted to close the crossing completely but there was no guarantee for any reimbursement of its expenses. “City Council faced this same decision 7 or 8 years ago,” City Manager Marilyn Sutton said. “The council’s decision at that time was to not close the crossing.” Each year, the state creates a priority list to decide where railroad crossings are to be upgraded. This year the Sherman St. crossing became eligible. Union Pacific will make the upgrades with help from the state. Union Pacific’s portion is $30,000 while the state chips in $170,000. That amount finances installation of lights and arms and new paint on the street. The city would be responsible for upkeep of the crossing after installation. “This is the last crossing in the city that does not have a warning system,” Sutton said. On June 12, James Hindsman was struck by a train and killed when he failed to stop at the stop sign.
Flood Plane Administrator Jerry Marsh and Community Development Coordinator Ben Buchanan have undertaken an initiative to modernize the city’s flood plane maps. These are the maps insurance companies use to determine the cost for flood insurance. The last time these maps were updated was in 1987. The big flood of 1994, however, showed some areas that needed to be listed in the flood plane. “There are a lot of definition changes,” Buchanan said. “but the way we determine what is in the flood plane is largely intact. Any building, residential or commercial, built in the flood plane should be built at least two feet above the flood-plane elevation.” “If we go to two feet it will lower the insurance premiums,” Buchanan said. “The more you control your flood plane, the better the rate. We’ve built retention ponds to hold water back from going into Long King Creek until the water level reaches the 25-year frequency.” “That will eliminate so much discrepancy that we had,” Mayor Clark Evans said. City renews its lease agreements for parking lots The city has opted to renew its lease agreements for the citymaintained parking lots in the downtown business district. “The terms are identical to what they were before,” City Manager Marilyn Sutton said. “It’s been a good relationship.” Council approves several big-ticket items A second Crown Victoria will be purchased for the Livingston Police Department. This was a budgeted item. The first vehicle was purchased at the beginning of the year. A 2009 Ford pickup will be purchased for the Water and Sewer Department. The City has approved additional funding for a new 8” water line to be installed along Hwy. 146 South. About 3,000 feet has already been installed. The new PVC line will replace the existing cast-iron piping that has been in place for some time. Council approves bid for hay. Prior to this year the Livingston School District’s FFA and other AG programs had been mowing and baling hay on city-owned land. The school declined to continue that partnership. “The school no longer needs the hay,” Sutton said. “So the city is offering it for bid.” City officials estimate production of about 300 bales in two cuttings but that estimate could be reduced if the drought continues.