Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Council Approves RG Fiber License Agreement Hears About the Emerald Ash Borer

Mayor Marilyn Pearse called the March 7, 2016 city council meeting to order at it's scheduled time of 7 P.M. Quickly reading and accepting  the consent agenda the council moved on to public comments on any topic not on the agenda.
Three people spoke during public comments. First up, was a representative from North Star who spoke of her displeasure of the way the February 15, 2016 meeting was conducted. She felt as member of the the organization that was before the council, she was automatically on the agenda to speak.  She did not realize she had to sign up as a member of the public in order to speak in regards to the now defeated development proposal at 700 Ridge Lane.
Next up to the podium, Dr. Roger Boyd who spoke about an article he has read earlier that morning in the Lawrence Journal World. The article was in regards to the impending  Emerald Ash Borer and the damage they cause known as the Ash Tree epidemic. He wanted make sure the city was aware that the while the trees may not be the cities responsibility, the citizens will lose all of it's Ash Trees to this pest.
Information about the Emerald Ash Borer can be found at the Emerald Ash Borer Network.
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald ash borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. Emerald ash borer is also established in Windsor, Ontario, was found in Ohio in 2003, northern Indiana in 2004, northern Illinois and Maryland in 2006, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2007, Wisconsin, Missouri and Virginia in the summer of 2008, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky in the spring of 2009, Iowa in the spring of 2010, Tennessee in the summer of 2010, Connecticut, Kansas, and Massachusetts in the summer of 2012, New Hampshire in the spring of 2013, North Carolina and Georgia in the summer of 2013, Colorado in the fall of 2013, New Jersey in the spring of 2014, Arkansas in the summer of 2014, and Louisiana in the winter of 2015.
On the Agenda Monday was license agreement with RG Fiber. Mike Bosch, of the company, said that his company is committed to the city and that the heart of the network is at 713 High, so there is no way they are going to move as that would mean major changes to the network.
photographer Kevin Surbaugh
The new agreement eliminates requirements that are not allowed by federal laws, such as the previous requirement that the RG Fiber maintain an office space in Baldwin City.
Establish a rebate of the five percent franchise fee on cable TV service, contingent on RG Fiber providing internet service to to the city at a discounted rate, as well as free hookups for city facilities and free Wi-Fi hot spots at all of the cities public parks.
The council approved 4-0-1, with Councilman David Simmons abstaining.
In other business:

  • Unanimously approved ordinance 1335 which cleaned up the Animal Control and Regulations, eliminating breed specific regulations.
  • Unanimously approved ordinance 1339 which modified the base cost of wholesale power.
  • Approved the purchase of a new mower, from Heritage Tractor for $17,957.
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