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TDS hopes to bring fiber to Winsted
July 13, 2015

BY STARRLA CRAY. Associate Editor

TDS Telecom has plans to lay fiber optic cable throughout Winsted, with construction targeted to begin mid to late July.

“The next step is for us to work with the city to negotiate terms of the franchise agreement,” Jean Pauk of TDS Telecom said during a public hearing at Tuesday’s Winsted City Council meeting.

The anticipated start date of service is no later than Nov. 1, dependent on a franchise agreement/ordinance with the city of Winsted and completion of fiber construction.

According to Pauk, the project will enable Winsted customers to bundle voice, data, and video services, and create a competitive marketplace to drive better service and pricing.

TDS plans to use Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), which involves using IP technology and a fiber network to deliver services.

“We have been developing our IPTV strategy since 2004,” Pauk said, noting that the first two IPTV deployments were in Tennessee.

Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) ranks 518th on the list of 2015 Fortune 1000 companies. The company provides 1.2 million connections to high-speed Internet, phone and TV entertainment services in more than 150 communities.

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Salary increases

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council authorized a salary step increase for the following city employees:

• Justin Heldt, police chief

• Jim Lammers, police officer

• Tyler Bruns, police officer

• Amanda Zeidler, utility billing/payroll clerk

• Dave Meyer, maintenance supervisor

• Raquel Kirkhoff, administrative assistant

Thirty days to fix unsafe property

In another matter, the council approved a resolution stating that unsafe areas on the old farmers’ elevator property at 121 Baker Ave. in Winsted need to be fixed in 30 days.

“Your failure to do so will result in the city making said remedial improvements in assessing the costs back to you,” Mayer Steve Stotko stated in a letter to property owner Jerome Horstmann.

According to information from the city’s building inspector and chief of police, deficiencies include grain bins that are not secure, garbage in the building, ladders that are accessible to the public, and other issues.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• appointed Bryan Schaust to the position of volunteer firefighter in Winsted, contingent upon passing a criminal background check and drug/alcohol test.

• authorized Glacier Incorporated to make $3,964 in improvements to Barrett Field, including temporary drainage on the field, and the removal and reinstallation of a foul ball safety fence. The cost will be split by the city and the baseball association.

• terminated airport hangar land lease agreements with Frank Hanish and Tom Casey, and approved new agreements with Russ Runck and Dallas Doggett.

• approved a kids’ run, a 5K run, and a 4.5-mile run sponsored by the Winsted Summer Festival, to take place Saturday, Aug. 8.

• approved a conditional offer of employment to Dylan Reiner for the full-time position of Winsted Police Officer, based on the successful completion of a background check, psychological examination, physical, and drug/alcohol screening.

• heard that the results of a housing study in Winsted will be presented at the Tuesday, Aug. 4 city council meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of city hall. “You’ll be surprised; it’s not what you think it is,” Mayer Steve Stotko told council members at Tuesday’s work session.

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