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Wi-Fi too expensive to provide

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By Kristin Beck

A councilmember asks when spending will stop on the 2Rivers Campground Wi-Fi, a service that will likely not ever be available to taxpayers.

“How much money are we going to continue to pour into the campground?” Councilman Robb Adams asked.

The question was asked while council discussed a service contract for the Internet service. Council agreed to pay Electronic Systems $397 for an upgraded piece of equipment for the 2Rivers Campground Wi-Fi, but tabled the service agreement until the next meeting. Councilman Mike Gordon said he had no problem with the contract, but wanted to ask Electronic Systems if the firm would include maintenance on the computers at the campground and public works.

Adams said he understood council has to maintain the campground, but how often will the Wi-Fi system go down? It seems like, so far, everything proposed to us for the campground gets approved. Where do we stop spending money on the campground, Adams asked.

For the next couple of years, we don’t have a choice until we get it paid off, Councilman Dwight Louden said. He noted that the last time council discussed the campground Wi-Fi, members had talked about charging a fee for a premium service of providing more bandwidth for campers to stream movies.

Adams said if this does not work, council cannot keep trying things for the campground. He does not want the city to get tunnel vision and think it always has to provide Wi-Fi for the campground.

Adams told council he spoke with a lady recently, who told him she was concerned because the campers, who are mostly from out of town, are getting free Wi-Fi, but she is not and she is a taxpayer. Adams said he had to “burst her bubble” by telling her that she will probably never get Wi-Fi because it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The city jumped on board “this other guy’s proposal,” referring to Brent Graves of Powered On, but it did not work out.

Louden said when council members first talked about citywide Wi-Fi, they did not know about smart phones and streaming movies, things they could not stop residents from using.

Gordon said if the city sees it is spending too much on the campground Wi-Fi, it couldcharge a small fee per night for campers to use it and can put a code on it so that only campers can use it.

Electronic Systems offered three options for the service contract, which would include monthly service maintenance and repairing the campground hardware, software and reservation website. Option A is $1,400 annually; Option B is a two-year contract totaling $2,700; and Option C is pay per call at $35 per hour and a three-hour minimum and direct materials charged at current market rates.

Adams said the most he would want to consider is Option A at $1,400 per year. He wants the city to keep track of the number of times Electronic Systems is called and the number of hours spent working on the system so council can judge whether or not to renew the contract next year or pay by hour.

McMurry said he would ask Electronic Systems if they would include maintenance on the computers and let council know.

Resident appeals ticket

ACarrollton resident disagrees with a ticket he received on his brother’s vehicle, which is parked in front of his home on Taylor Street.

Carrollton resident Terry Glacken said he is keeping his brother’s car for him while his brother is incarcerated. He said he was told by former Code Enforcement Officer Art Zook that as long as the vehicle has insurance and tags and runs it could sit there.

While on vacation recently, the car was written a pink ticket. Upon his return, Glacken said he did not see the ticket and left for work at North American Stainless. When he got home, the car had been towed. He said he talked to Carrollton Police Chief Mike Willhoite, who told him that there were three councilmembers who wanted a number of vehicles in the city towed.

Glacken said the 33-foot right-of-way on Taylor Street extends to his doorway. His brother has been incarcerated for about two years, and Glacken said he moves the vehicle occasionally, but not a lot because it is not his. He also noted there are two cars within a block of his house that have not moved for months.

Councilman Robb Adams encouraged Glacken to tell CPD about the other two cars because “fair is fair.” He said this is a police issue because the city government sets the ordinances and the police enforce them.

Councilman Mike Gordon asked Mayor Gene McMurry to talk to Willhoite before council makes a decision. Glacken said he has a $130 bill for towing and over-weekend storage that he wants waived.

Gordon asked him if there are any weeds around the vehicle and if it is clean. Glacken said he usually keeps the area clean of weeds, but his weed eater is currently broken.

Adams said council, the mayor and several residents are making a push to clean up the city, and this is a public perception problem for the police and for Code Enforcement Officer John Welch.

Councilman Dwight Louden explained that the idea behind this ordinance is the city wants people to use their driveways. The city right-of-way is for public parking; it is not a personal right-of-way. When a vehicle sits for a long period of time, it is obstructing the right-of-way, he said.

Glacken asked why he did not receive a note or a letter to move the vehicle instead of tagging it while he was on vacation and towing it while he was at work. McMurry said he would ask Willhoite to give three-day notice before taking action.

City sets tax rate

The city approved the first reading of the 2014 advalorem tax rate, setting it at 30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation on all real property subject to taxation within the city limits. The second reading will be held at a special meeting at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15.

Abbott retires

Council regretfully accepted the resignation of Carrollton Police Department Assistant Chief Steve Abbott, effective Sept. 1, 2014. Abbott served on CPD for 19-and-a-half years, 29 years total in law enforcement.

River walk funds updated

Council approved the second reading of an ordinance to add $49,315 to the river walk line item in this year’s budget. Council also approved a change order of $1,000 to Walter Martin Excavating Inc. Mayor Gene McMurry said project manager Dave Eberenz of Heritage Engineering emailed him and said Walter Martin installed nine lights but had only billed for eight. This is the second change order for the river walk project, totaling $3,100. The total project has cost $187,190.

McMurry said the memorial benches have been installed and the trashcans were being installed that day.

Trailer to be moved

After an executive session for litigation, Councilman Dwight Louden motioned to accept a mediation agreement requiring Danny Maiden to remove his trailer on Mason Street by Dec. 31, 2015. It was seconded by Councilwoman Ann Deatherage, and it was unanimously approved.

City moves funds

Carroll County Public Works will soon be installing a new pipe in the city drainage system on Clay Street between Third and Fourth streets. Council approved an ordinance amending the public works budget, adding $12,000 to the storm drains line item and moving $16,000 from new equipment into it. Public Works will replace an undersized pipe with a new 36-inch pipe. The second reading will be held Aug. 25.

City enters maintenance agreement

Council agreed to contract with BME Mechanical and Electrical of Burlington, Ky., for maintenance on air conditioner units at 2Rivers Campground and at city hall for a total of $1,396 per year.

Minor changes to ordinances

First readings were held updating two city ordinances. The second reading will be held Aug. 25. Ordinance 2014-19 addressed the housing code designation of unfit dwelling and legal procedure of condemnation, removing the title of “health officer.” Ordinance 2014-20 addressed the nuisances ordinance on the abatement procedure, requiring the building inspector to serve notice to the owner and any occupant of the premises rather than choosing one or the other.