Mt. Washington finds way to save phone money

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By Alex Wimsatt

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Mount Washington officials recently entered into an agreement with a major cellular service provider that will put more coin in the city's coffers. 

During their last regular meeting, members of the Mount Washington City Council voted to allow Mayor Joetta Calhoun to sign a lease agreement between the city and New Cingular Wireless, formerly known as AT&T Wireless.

Under the contract the company agrees to pay the city $200 more per month to lease space on the city's Armstrong Lane water tower for three antennas.

Already the company pays the city more than $1,100 a month for three antennas. 

With the new agreement the company will pay more than $1,300 a month to lease water tower space for a total of six antennas. 

City utilities superintendent Ronnie Fick said that in addition to installing new antennas, the company plans to upgrade all of its existing antennas and equipment on the water tower.

Besides AT&T, three other major cellular providers have antennas on the city's water towers near Armstrong Lane and Lloyds Lane. 

Sprint and Nextel each pay $1,124 a month for water tower space. T-Mobile also leases space for antennas. 

Fick said Sprint was the first company to rent water tower space for antennas in the late 1990s and the city has been receiving lease payments from the company ever since. 

Councilman Gayle Troutman made the motion to allow the mayor to enter the city into the new lease agreement. 

The motion passed unanimously. 

In other business:

*The council heard first reading of an ordinance confirming an annexation adopted by ordinance in 1964.

The ordinance is the newest of many similar ordinances the council has taken up since the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Land Office required the city to confirm existing annexations in order to correct the state’s mapping records for Mount Washington.

Local surveyor John St. Clair began reevaluating the city’s annexation ordinances last year when city officials discovered many properties within the city were deemed unmappable by the secretary of state’s office.

 The properties were deemed unmappable because, for various reasons, the legal descriptions in the annexation ordinances provided by the city did not satisfy requirements set forth by the state.           

City officials discovered many pieces of property weren’t mapped properly after they began compiling data to challenge 2010 Census numbers, which showed the city’s population decreased by over 2,900 people from 2009 estimates.

*Council members approved an ordinance annexing nearly four acres of city property at the intersection of Flatlick Road and Pierce Avenue. 

The property, which sits across from Wales Run Road, was previously unincorporated and deeded to the city by Glenn and Barbara Owen in 2011. 

The property's value is $72,000, according to the deed.

Councilman Troutman made the motion to accept the ordinance to annex the property into the city. The motion passed 5-0. Councilman Brent Wheeler abstained.  

*The council approved a resolution honoring the five members of the Bullitt County Public Schools Board, Dolores Ashby, Darrell Coleman, Roger Hayes, Lorraine McLaughlin and Tim Wiseheart. 

“Now therefore, I, Mayor Joetta Calhoun and Members of the City Council resolve to express appreciation to these members of the Bullitt County Board of Education and in doing so urge all residents of our community to join in honoring these public servants for their efforts,” the resolution states. 

Councilman Wheeler made the motion to adopt the 2013 School Board Recognition Month Resolution. The motion passed unanimously. 

*Councilman Wheeler had nothing to report, but wished to comment that he was glad to be back on the council. 

"I'm looking forward to serving the people of Mount Washington again," he said. 

Wheeler, who had served on previous councils, won his seat on the current council in the November general election.

*The next regular meeting of the Mount Washington City Council will be held on Monday, Jan. 28 at the City Hall Annex Building on Branham Way. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited.