Telecommunications again took center stage for the bulk of Tuesdays meeting of the Umatilla City Council.
After a council vote, Hermiston-based Eastern Oregon Telecom will now officially take over infrastructure left by Almega Cable. EOT representatives have said they plan to use the infrastructure to provide high-speed cable internet with the capability of working with voice-over-internet protocol telephone service and potential options for internet-based cable television.
EOT was the only company to reply to a request-for-proposals from the city and will not pay anything for the infrastructure, which was left behind when Almega abandoned service in Umatilla and other Eastern Oregon cities in 2010.
Umatilla has not had cable television services since that time.
The council gave EOT another bit of good news when it approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a communication tower lease agreement with EOT for a portion of space on the McNary water tower. EOT has had an antenna on the Port water tower since 2010, but a lease agreement had never been developed. The agreement is non-exclusive.
The meetings lone ordinance also involved telecommunications and marked the final step in a franchise agreement with CentruryLink for Telecommunications Services. That process began with the expiration of the old Qwest franchise agreement and included an update of the citys general telecommunications franchise ordinance as well.
Not all meeting business dealt with communications, however. With little discussion, the Umatilla City Council also adopted its 2012-13 fiscal year budget and other related items.
The council also finalized financial moves for the 2011-12 fiscal year, such as transferring funds and appropriations within the street fund and adopting a supplemental budget, with a number of resolutions.
In other business:
The council authorized Mayor Pat Lafferty to sign a contract with the Oregon Department of Transportation for the use of flex funding for downtown revitalization. The funds are part of a grant the city received for design of a downtown revitalization project between the Umatilla River Bridge and Yerxa Street, primarily for sidewalk and lighting improvements. The city will make a $46,000 match for the grant.
Lafferty read a proclamation thanking Larry and Marge Nelson for their work with the Umatilla Museum and naming the weekend of June 22-24, and all future Landing Days weekends, as Umatilla Museum weekends.
A three-year bargaining agreement was approved with the Umatilla Public Safety Association. The agreement allows for annual pay increases of 3 percent.
Navedades Cruz was granted a liquor license for on-premise sales. A business representative said the store plans to serve beer in a small restaurant inside the business.
Don Tonning was approved for a downtown revitalization grant for landscaping at his business.
A group of women made a symbolic takeover of the city council meeting to kick off the 150th Birthday celebration and pay homage to the 1916 political clean sweep.