• Stephen Peterson, Managing Editor

Council considers tele-com franchise ordinance

The Versailles City Council on Tuesday heard first reading of an ordinance that will establish a franchising arrangement for companies that want to provide various telecommunications service inside the city. Companies that seek a franchise would not include cable TV service providers. Time-Warner Cable has an exclusive franchise to provide cable television service in Versailles. The envisioned franchise arrangement would be for non-exclusive services and any number of companies could apply for a franchise to provide telecommunications services and could use city rights-of-way and infrastructure under specific conditions. Attorney Linda Ain, who assists the city with franchise-related matters, gave as an example an existing cell phone company that wanted to provide a way to improve signal quality in local areas with poor cell reception. Public Works Director Bart Miller noted that the city would still control its infrastructure - such as utility poles - no matter which company might use it. The ordinance will become law after a second reading and publication in The Sun. Old St. Leo School The council approved a motion to accept a proposal from Vector Engineers, Inc., of Shelbyville, to conduct a geophysical site characterization and a phase 1 environmental assessment of the old St. Leo School property on North Main Street at Elm Street. The city is seeking to purchase that property in order to build a new police station. For a cost of $8,900, Vector will perform test borings, the cores from which will be tested in a lab, and issue a report on the suitability of the site for future development based on those tests and likely environmental concerns, such as the presence of asbestos, that might arise. Code enforcement The council approved three appointments to its newly formed code enforcement board: Cathy Weil, who will serve through Dec. 31, 2017; Vic Brown, who will serve through Dec. 31, 2018; and Marjorie Evans, who will serve through Dec. 31, 2019. Following those approvals, Evans thanked the council for establishing the board and said her vision of the board's function was "not militaristic" but "helpful." She said that she will seek to assist people who are in violation of city property codes but are unable to afford a remedy to come into compliance with those codes. The council also approved the reappointment of Mike Wood to the recreation board, to serve through Dec. 31, 2018. Who's in charge? The council approved a municipal order appointing councilwoman Ann Miller as mayor pro-tem in the event that Mayor Brian Traugott is absent. In a tiny bit of irony, Miller was not present at Tuesday's meeting. Traugott joked that Miller's absence was probably a good thing because the appointment would have given her a head so big it wouldn't fit through the doors of the council chamber.

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