City council discusses Triax cable service

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 7/30/96.

Susan Rester-Miles, Minneapolis attorney specializing in cable systems hired by the city, and Jane Bremer, Triax spokesperson, appeared before the council to analyze the Triax merger and how it would affect the city of Paynesville.

Bremer said Triax is not in business to have unhappy customers. "We are going through the merger to provide better service and gain access to a greater capital market. The merger does not change the present franchise contract or the city's obligation," she added.

One of the reasons given for the poor Paynesville signal is that Paynesville is located about 80 air miles from the Shoreview towers, where the bulk of the Twin Cities stations are transmitted.

Rester-Miles recommended the city buy a couple of hours of time from a consulting engineer to provide advice on the best way to improve the Paynesville situation.

Wilde reminded Bremer people in Paynesville don't want more channels, just better quality after she referred to the possibility of more channels being added in the future. Zimmerman added the quality issue isn't new but has been an ongoing problem for many years. Bremer said there isn't much Triax can do until the Paynesville system is rebuild in the future.

Bremer informed the council that if nothing is done on the city's part, after 90 days, the city is in default and the merger is deemed approved. The chances of Triax upgrading the Paynesville system is slim until after the franchise is renewed in 2001.

Bremer told the council their options concerning the franchise are: 1) do nothing and wait for the franchise to renew, 2) start negotiating for an early renewal of the franchise or 3) adopt temporary measures.

City Attorney Nancy Landmark informed the council that at this point the merger is not in danger. "We need to put reservations into the agreement and reserve our rights. The deadline to act is fast approaching," she added. By the Aug. 14 council meeting, Landmark will have a resolution ready for the council to approve, concerning the merger.

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