Lonsdale council discusses fiber optics, 2005 budget and the search for a city administrator

By Wade Young

Messenger editor

This is a “road project” like no other. The technological highway is coming through Lonsdale, at least if Fire Chief Don Novak has anything to say about it.

Novak was at the Thursday meeting of the Lonsdale City Council. He gave an update on the progress of the city’s cable layout with Lonsdale Video Ventures. Novak explained the hope that within three years, he hopes to have Lonsdale fed with fiber optic cables instead of the current copper ones. Fiber optics (optical fibers) are long, thin strands of very pure glass about the diameter of a human hair. They are arranged in bundles called optical cables and used to transmit light signals over long distances. Services can include high-speed internet access and cable television, among others.

Novak said he has been in contact with the power and gas companies and hopes to be able to read the utility meters remotely.

“It’s our goal to offer the complete package,” he said.

In other business, the council also approved the variance requests for Lonsdale Family Dental and Lonsdale Tool and Manufacturing, both of which had public hearings prior to the council meeting.

In his development update, city engineer Kevin Kawlewski informed the city of the withdrawal of annexation request by the developers of the Tollefson Development because of lack of sewer access, and the proposal for the industrial ball field grading plan.

Interim City Administrator Joyce Skluzacek gave the council the preliminary 2005 budget to review. Some of the proposed additions to the budget include another part-time police officer and the beginning of a vehicle replacement program that would budget and save money in the event a new vehicle is needed for the city.

Skluzacek also expressed the desire to initiate a capital improvement plan for the City of Lonsdale. With the growth the city has seen, Mayor Rud said, they can raise the budget without increasing the city’s portion on real estate taxes.

Skluzacek’s plans drew praise from Mayor Tim Rud and Novak, who told the council the fire department uses the same method for acquiring vehicles to save the taxpayers money.

Rud agreed saying it is the council’s goal to provide things people want.

Skluzacek will make the final adjustments to the proposed budget and present it to the council at its next meeting on August 26.

Councilman Fritz Duban updated the council on the continuing search for the city administrator and gave Skluzacek a lot of praise for “holding down the fort” and keeping things running for the city.

In other business, the council tabled the approval of new voting booths until the council’s next meeting so more information can be obtained.

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