Saturday, May 17, 2003

Lebanon 'ramps up' phone installations

By Jill Hanning
Enquirer contributor

LEBANON - City Council voted unanimously this week to advance $600,000 from the electricity fund to the telecommunications fund for a six-month "ramp up" that will allow more installations of phone lines for residents on a waiting list.

The city's telecommunications fund previously allowed for 135 installations a month, but the transferred funds should increase that number to 300 a month. An allocation of $570,000 will be used to buy telephone equipment, and $30,000 will go toward installation costs. City Manager Pat Clements explained that each installation costs about $500 - $400 for equipment and $100 for labor.

About 1,000 customers are on a waiting list for phone installation. (To schedule an installation, call 933-7201.)

A proposal to update the utility's rates was passed at a first reading. It includes a new rate for leasing a cable box for high-definition televisions for $7.50 a month.

And, council voted to amend parking meter ordinances based partly on the results of a central business district survey. The changes include shaving off an hour the meters will be in use in the evenings, from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m., suspending meter operation on all federal holidays, and allowing 72 hours instead of 24 to pay parking violations. That will permit violations to be paid through the mail.

"We sought to make the process simpler, more user-friendly, more consistent with neighbor communities, and clarify when we do enforce parking," Clements said.

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