• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Print all In new window City to allow tele-com franchises

In a short meeting Tuesday, the Versailles City Council voted unanimously for an ordinance that will establish a franchising agreement for businesses to provide telecommunications services in the city. The ordinance will not affect Time-Warner Cable's exclusive deal for cable television service, but will allow companies to offer telecommunication services and use rights-of-way and infrastructure. Before the vote, council member Ken Kerkhoff asked whether it might be preferable for the city to ask for a certificate of deposit (CD) instead of a letter of credit or performance bond to ensure an approved project is finished. City Attorney Bill Moore said the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission had begun asking for CDs after "we ran into some issues" in which developers didn't finish projects. Later, he noted that the higher cost of CDs is passed on to consumers. Linda Ain, an attorney who works for the city on franchise-related matters, said the cities of Lexington, Simpsonville and Shelbyville used letters of credit. Council member Ann Miller asked if the ordinance should be discussed further or put back into committee. Discussion of the matter took up nearly half of the 22-minute meeting. The ordinance requires franchisees to purchase insurance to pay for damages to property or persons. After the meeting, Public Works Director Bart Miller said the city had been approached by a major cell phone provider considering ways to boost weak service areas by installing "small cell antennas." He added that franchisees would need city permission to use existing utility poles or build a new one. St. Leo's appraisal The council unanimously approved a $1,500 contract with the Atlantic Appraisal Company of Lexington to appraise the old St. Leo's school property at North Main and Elm Streets. Mayor Brian Traugott said he'd expected the cost of the appraisal to be between $3,000 and $5,000. The city is considering building a new police station there. Charitable banners The council heard first reading of an ordinance amending the city's zoning laws to allow banners advertising charitable activities to be placed on poles and fences - with the property owner's permission. Appointments The council unanimously approved the appointment of Chantel Bingham to the Planning Commission for a term ending Dec. 31, 2017. She will fill the seat of J.D. Wolf, the longtime chair who resigned effective Feb. 1. The council also unanimously approved the appointment of Fred Powers to the Planning Commission's Board of Adjustments for a term ending Dec. 31, 2019. Traugott said Powers will take the place of Margie Evans, who'd been appointed to the city's new Code Enforcement Board. Truck bid The council voted unanimously to accept the higher of two bids for a 2001 Chevrolet truck belonging to the Public Works Department. Larry Walton offered $1,860 for the vehicle, which Bart Miller said had $155,000 miles.

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