Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Lebanon ready to vote on phone service

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The city's plan to team up with Cincinnati Bell to provide local phone service on city-owned fiber-optic lines could get a vote tonight.

        Only a few other cities across the United States have offered such service.

  • What: Lebanon City Council meeting.
  • When: 7:30 tonight.
  • Where: 50 S. Broadway.
        The deal would extend the local calling area east to Clermont County, west to Indiana, north to Dayton and south to Northern Kentucky. Basic residential service would cost $28 a month, and the city would keep 40 percent of that, according to the proposed contract.

        The plan appeals to residents who now must pay long-distance charges for their frequent calls to Dayton and Cincinnati. Current local provider Sprint also is considering expanding service — although not as extensively — for about the same basic monthly cost.

        City officials are eager to get additional income for their $13 million telecommunications network, which is not quite breaking even after more than two years of selling cable TV service, according to Councilman Mark Flick, finance committee chairman.

        Council could vote on the contract tonight or wait for a future meeting.

        Also tonight, council will hold a public hearing on temporarily restricting multi-family construction in Lebanon. A three-month moratorium on such construction was passed two months ago; the new proposal would last longer but also allow council to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

        Lebanon has more rental properties than most other Warren County communities; just 42 percent of residents own their home, according to the 2000 census.

        “This is going to at least give us time to look at our current land-use plan and see if that's still what we want to do,” Planning Director Marty Kohler said.


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