Fountain council opts not to pursue
satellite Internet, cable services due to costs
Thursday, January 10, 2013 3:50 AM
"Our expense would be $30,700, and the wire alone would cost another $20,000, and we wouldn't go aerial...we'd go burial," said Craig Stortz of Stortz Satellite of Canton, speaking to the members of Fountain's city council last Thursday evening.
Stortz was speaking regarding his proposal to equip Fountain for television and Internet service, a proposal he found to be too expensive after further examination of the city and necessary improvements.
The city had considered working with Stortz to update television service and Internet access. However, after hearing his summary of city costs - which the city had already acknowledged it likely could not afford - adding up to approximately $70,000, both parties agreed that further pursuit of the matter would be far too expensive.
Another consideration was that only a third of Fountain's residents had expressed interest in utilizing the services had they been made available.
Since the Jan. 3 meeting was the first of the year, two council members and the mayor were sworn into office again. Chad Wangen and Dave Gudmundson and Mayor Richard Kujath took the oath of office, promising to do their best to be good stewards of the city's resources.
After their oaths were given, the council proceeded to review its designations, including First State Bank of Fountain as its official depository and the Fillmore County Journal as its official newspaper.
Questions arose regarding whether Tom Manion should continue to be the city attorney, as councilor Jim Schott expressed his interest in hiring Kelly Wagner of Spring Valley. He felt Wagner would be more accessible and was charging similar fees. Wangen agreed and the council voted to use Wagner's legal services for 2013.
Gudmundson was once again charged with being weed inspector, street inspector and mayor pro tem, Bryan Ostby, parks and recreation, and Wangen and Schott, on the water and sewer committee.
Fountain Police Chief Tom Mosher gave his December report, including more news of dogs running loose about town, cars parked on the street while the snow removal parking ordinance is in effect until April 1, and his account of assisting with the apprehension of a shooting suspect who injured a woman in Preston on Dec. 21.
The council then reviewed its fee schedule for the coming year, raising the charge for delinquent utilities being assessed and submitted to the county property tax rolls from $20 to $50 per property. The council also examined the "dog at large" fee charged to pet owners whose pets take a stroll unaccompanied.
Next, the council granted $100 for post prom parties being planned at Fillmore Central and Lanesboro high schools, noting support because they keep the kids occupied and out of trouble in addition to providing many fun activities.
Lastly, councilmen discussed a resident who owns four dogs and how he may react as he owns more than three. Due to a change in the city's ordinance, this will cost the property owner $600 annually. According to the city's kennel ordinance, owning more than three canines constitutes kennel ownership and requires a license. The resident in question apparently raises dogs to lease or sell for hunting.
City clerk Ronda Flattum was instructed to draft a kennel license application and request a letter from the resident regarding why he would like to maintain a larger number of canines than other residents own.