About 16 people attended the hearing and half gave testimony about their frustrations with their cable service. Most of the complaints had been mentioned previously at the first public hearing at city hall on Jan. 27.
The two biggest complaints seemed to be channel selection and signal quality. The room seemed to be full of M*A*S*H fans, as everyone complained about the removal of the FX Channel and its replacement by the Disney Channel. Having to pay a higher rate for the new expanded basic lineup with Disney really irritated some. ďIím boycotting Disney,Ē said A. J. Svejkovsky.
Reception problems with favorite channels or at crucial moments stuck in many peopleís memories. ďIt seems to go out at the wrong times,Ē said Warren Nehring, after he watched Evil Knievel prepare for a jump only to miss the actual feat. Nehring represented Paynesville Town-ship at the hearing.
Shirley Sands and Rhonda Larson were angry enough to come and testify for the second time. Larson said she had disconnected her cable on Jan. 29. She was unhappy with her reception and that no representative from Triax Cablevision attended either public hearing. She was told by Triax that they hadnít been informed of the public hearing, but she checked with city administrator Dennis Wilde, who assured her the city attorney had informed Triax by letter.
Sands wasnít surprised by the companyís communication difficulties. She said it took three calls over eight hours to the company office in Waseca until the local serviceman was informed of a cable outage.
Doreen Miller related what she called a disheartening experience with Triax. She and her husband moved a building six blocks at a cost of $2,000. To disconnect and reconnect the cable service, Triax wanted to charge $3,000 for two hours work. NSP did similar work and charged $184. Miller said they got $1,500 back from Triax after serious complaining.
Wilde explained the contractual status of the renegotiation process. The current cable company doesnít expire until June of 2001, and these hearings are designed to assess current service and future community needs. The public at the hearing expressed understanding that the city needed documentation of service problems to choose a different cable contractor.
Wilde encouraged the public to continue to voice their opinions. ďKeep calling (Triax),Ē he said. ďCall the 800 number. Write letters. Tell your neighbor to write letters.Ē
Triaxís toll-free number is 1-800-332-0245. Letters sent to the city council will serve as evidence.
Channel 6 broadcasts
David Glesne expressed interest in improving the variety of broadcasts on Channel 6, the local public access station. Wilde said the content is currently limited by inadequate staff time. The city does have money budgeted for someone to handle videotaping on Wednesday nights at the city council meetings and to set up broadcasts on Channel 6.
Presently that position is vacant. Interested individuals should inquire at city hall.
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