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Council grants franchise agreement

FTTH Communications will live on. The Rosemount City Council approved the transfer of the local phone, cable and Internet company from Rudder Capital to EveresTV Inc. Tuesday night. The council also approved a new franchise agreement.

The two actions pave the way for EveresTV to take over the floundering company, which serves nearly 1,000 households in Rosemount.

The road to Tuesday night's decision has been a long one and even with the approval lots could go wrong to kill it.

The resolution requires that the sale of the company be closed by April 21 or the agreement becomes void.

In July the council voted to revoke the company's franchise agreement. After FTTH came back to the table with a possible buyer, Jeffrey Feldman, the council gave the company until April 21 to work out a deal.

The new franchise agreement requires that FTTH build out to 800 additional homes by the end of 2011. Additionally, it requires the company continue to build out to 500 homes a year thereafter.

The company's failure to meet the build out requirements is what led to the council's revocation of the agreement. The company has had a franchise in Rosemount since 2000. As part of its agreement with the city FTTH was supposed to extend its services throughout the city in phases. However it hasn't completed any of the additional build out work.

Other business

In other business the former St. Joseph's Church building will finally get the renovations it needs to open to the public. On Tuesday night the Rosemount city council awarded the contract to Terra General Contractors.

Terra came in as the lowest bidder on the project with a bid of $221,850. That bid was nearly $50,000 less than initial estimates on the project.

Parks and recreation director Dan Schultz said the project will include a ramp and extension of the stage, interior and exterior handicap accessibility upgrades, the installation of a fire protection system throughout the church, steeple repair and waterproofing and roof repair.

Schultz told the council the renovations are the basic things that need to be done to open the church, which was built in the 1920s, to the public.

For additional renovations and upgrades Schultz said city staff will try to partner with community groups such as the Rosemount Area Arts Council, who hope to use the building for programs.

The renovations will bring life back to the building. It has sat mostly empty for the last several years.

The city purchased the the 9,000 sq.ft. building in 2004. In the spring of 2008 voters defeated a bond referendum that would have paid for work on St. Joseph's as well as a possible athletic complex on land donated to the city from Flint Hills Resources.

In 2006 the Rosemount City Council created a 23 member task force, which consisted of a variety of community members and city officials, to determine how to best use the historic buildings. The task force recommended the building be turned into an arts and cultural center.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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