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City council debates TV translator tower

1/08/09 (Thu)

The Beulah City Council is mulling over what to do with the translator television tower the city has operated in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce since the late 1960s. Mayor Darrell Bjerke reported to the council Monday night that the building to house the new equipment needed to be replaced, and there was no guarantee that the tower would be able to pick up the signal once it is broadcast in digital after Feb. 17.

The mayor estimated the cost of upgrading the tower at $1,000-1,500 per channel translated, not including building costs. Council members asked how many Beulah citizens were getting their television service from the tower. Mayor Bjerke indicated there was no way to know that number.

The council also heard a report from city engineer Loren Daede stating that federal money from a stimulus package might soon be coming available. He suggested that the council begin considering some "projects that move fast" to be able to take advantage of the federal dollars.

City coordinator John Phillips updated the council on negotiations with Alltel regarding placing an antenna on the city water tower. Council members Roger Gazur and Robert Moos expressed concern over lines in the report referencing city liability for equipment and suggesting an exclusivity agreement on the city’s part.

"We (the city) can do whatever we want with our property," Moos said.

Council member Clyde Schulz said the pool project was "definitely moving faster than I thought (it) would be," and promised a full report by next council meeting.