CRYSTAL FALLS— City officials will meet Jan. 16 to discuss the city hall and cable television service.
“We need to prioritize what we want to do with renovating the city hall,” city manager Dorothea Olson said.
Olson, Mayor Janet Hendrickson and Councilman Jack Bigico will tour the nearly century-old building on Jan. 23 to decide which repairs to tackle first. Issues include a bulging second-story wall, deteriorating floor and several cosmetic issues. Olson would like the building spruced up for its centennial celebration in 2014.
The city council also needs to decide if application will be made to have the city hall listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “This has advantages and disadvantages,” Olson said. “The advantage being it opens up some funding opportunities. The disadvantage is we become limited to what we can do to the building moving forward.”
The building committee was formed after Olson raised concerns about a second story wall on the building’s east side that consists of large glass block windows. She is worried that pedestrians on the sidewalk below could be injured if the wall collapsed. She added that the second story floor is hazardous and unusable by the public in its current condition.
The committee will report to the full city council at its Feb. 11 meeting.
Olson will also meet with Bicigo, Councilman David Sherby along with city electrician and television system technician Dan Graff to consider options for improving cable television service.
“We need to either upgrade our system or get out of the business,” Olson said.
The Crystal Falls cable system currently offers 32 channels for a basic service rate of $27 per month. Premium channel HBO is available for an additional $13.50. As of Monday, one of the system’s channels remained off of the air as technicians await new equipment.
Head end equipment is outdated and space at the cable plant is limited, the manager added. Satellite television and internet accessibility has cut the number of subscribers from 800 residents to 550.
“We need to keep the cost as low as possible and still provide quality service,” Olson said.