Monday, February 19, 2007

Center Point may get high-speed Internet service

Friday, February 9, 2007 9:28 AM CST

Residents of Center Point may soon get high-speed Internet service.

At the town council meeting Tuesday, Keith Vanwey, a JOINK representative, answered questions about the proposed service.

JOINK is proposing a seven-year contract with Center Point to provide that service.

The proposed service would originate at an antenna attached to the top of the water town and be sent to personal computers in residents' homes.

There is already an REMC radio antenna atop the water town and the council asked there not be any interference with it.

Mr. Vanwey stated he had tried unsuccessfully, so far, to reach the REMC representative to discuss the additional antennae. He assured the council there would be no transmission interference due to the different frequencies they each use.

There needs to be some electric connection and maybe a small building for equipment near the bottom of the water tower. JOINK is asking the Town for an investment of $10,000 to $14,000 for the total equipment and installation.

Mr. Vanwey was asked if other communities had also contributed a like amount.

He answered that no other community had been asked to help offset the installation fees due to other towns having a business that needed the high speed connection and had paid the initial installation fees; then other residents were able to connect with just a home installation fee.

Once began, the installation process would take 30-60 days. Each residence that applies for the service would need to pay a $199 installation fee.

A JOINK service person would then come to their home and check for a “good signal” potential.

If the residence was located in an area that did not have a good reception potential for the service to work properly, the resident would be refunded their installation deposit.

Mr. Vanwey added that most residences within a 2-3 mile radius from the water town (some as far as 7 to 8 miles) would be able to obtain the service.

Some residences farther than that may be able to have access, but some closer may not have access, depending on terrain, trees, valleys, etc.

People with older computers may need to purchase a $50 air card from JOINK to receive service.

Mr. Vanwey added JOINK does not usually like to have customers mail in monthly payments, but suggests an automatic charge to a credit card or bank account draft.

The council agreed they could understand a problem with some payments as they experience the same with some water and sewer customers.

Vanwey said Internet e-mail spam should not be a problem because JOINK provides protection that should be adequate for most residents' computers.

A resident asked if JOINK had approached the county to see about installing the antenna atop the county's tower on C.R.100 N (just outside of town). Mr. Vanwey said the water tower was preferable.

Another person asked if JOINK was responsible for anything that may happen to the water tower as a result of their hardware. Mr. Vanwey said they had liability insurance for any unseen circumstances.

The Center Point Town Council will discuss the matter further at a future meeting.

In other business:

The town is waiting on storm drain repairs. Another hole was found in a storm drain just south of the Tucker residence.

People who have been living in the former Kaiser property have been moving out.

Their water meter will need to be shut off. And whoever bought the house will need to pay the outstanding January water-sewer bill before the water can be re-connected.

The council voted to remove the liability insurance on the patrol car since there is no longer a town marshal.

The clerk treasurer will contact the insurance agent with that information.

Note: The above information was submitted by Center Point Clerk-Treasurer Roger Campbell.

We appreciate the information and encourage other area town to also send in their town board meeting minutes.