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City Council renews franchise agreement; cable TV rates to see an increase here

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington City Council Monday renewed its 15-year cable TV franchise agreement with Hartelco.

The agreement, which was first signed between the Hartington Telephone Company and the city back in 1980, calls for the city to receive four percent of the annual revenue from the company’s basic cable package.

Hartelco CEO Tom Noecker also told Council members that rates for the local cable TV system will be going up in January.

Noecker said the rate for the basic TV package will see a $1 a month increase, while the rates for the Essential TV package will jump by $6.20 a month. The rates for Hartelco’s Variety Package will go up .70 cents per month, Noecker said.

Noecker said the programming fees the local company is being charged to carry the networks on its system are going up, so Hartelco is being forced to pass those increases on to its customers.

Noecker said the local system will also be adding the NatGeo Wild channel, so local residents will be able to watch the new TV show based on Dr. Ben and Dr. Erin Schroeder’s veterinarian practice.

The Game Show Network is also being added to the local system.

In other action Monday, the Council also approved a sign permit for Ben and Erin Schroeder for their Chasin’ Charlies store in the Globe building.

A building permit for Ron Arens, for a pergola at his home was also approved.

The Council also accepted a letter of resignation from Park Board member Jesse Hochstein.

Also Monday, Council members discussed on-going problems at a Hartington residence that the city mandated must be cleaned up.

City workers went on the property and cleaned it up earlier this year, but neighbors are complaining the property is once again filled with trash.

Mayor Mark Becker requested that a notice be sent out to the property owner advising that the city will go through the abatement process again if the property is not cleaned up. This would allow city employees to again go on the property and clean it up. There are also complaints that she is piling garbage in her vehicle.

“We’ve had complaints there with rats,” Mayor Mark Becker said. “Going into winter, that garbage will accumulate more and it will only get worse,” he said.

The annual agreement beween the city and the state regarding upkeep of the state highways in Hartington was also approved.

There are 1.2 lane miles of state highway in Hartington.

The state charges an annual fee of $1045 per lane mile for annual upkeep of that stretch of state highway.

The Council also approved a similar Inter-local cooperation agreement with Cedar County. The extension is simply a renewal of an agreement established several years ago between the two entities.

The Council will only meet one time in December. That meeting is set for Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., at City Hall.