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Bardstown City Council takes first step to create franchise for ‘microcell’ provider

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 11:45 p.m. — The Bardstown City Council unanimously approved creating a non-exclusive telecommunications franchise within the city limits that will allow a telecommunications company to install its equipment in the city’s right-of-way.

Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton speaks with City Attorney Tim Butler prior to the start of Tuesday’s council meeting.

The non-exclusive, 10-year franchise will allow the Newport Beach, Calif-based Mobilite LLC to deploy small cellular phone and data networks — known as “microcells” — in areas of Bardstown where existing phone and data networks may be prone to heavy usage.

The company has a Kentucky-based subsidiary called KY Backhaul.

A microcell is a cellular telephone system designed to cover a much smaller area than typical cell phone towers. Microcells have a range of 2 kilometers or less (about 1-1/4 miles), and are designed to add cell phone capacity in areas in which high capacity is needed.

Mobilitie’s wireless data technology is often used to add wireless capacity to specific venues and events, including indoor sports areas, outdoor stadiums and even Louisville’s Churchill Downs.

Mills said the company leases its connectivity to other cellular providers in order to add capacity to their individual networks during times of peak usage.

HISTORIC TAX CREDIT RESOLUTION. The council approved a resolution urging Congress and the President to preserve the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program.

The HTC was created by Congress and the Reagan administration to attract capital to invest in historic rehabilitation projects.

Councilmen John Kelley and Joe Buckman talk prior to the start of Tuesday’s council meeting.

Since its inception, the program has created more than 2.4 million jobs nationwide, rehabilitated more than 42,000 buildings, and leveraged $131.8 billion in private investment.

The program is directly responsible for the preservation and rehabilitation of a a number of historic buildings in our community.

Councilman Joe Buckman said that the tax credit is an important incentive because it is often less expensive to build a new building than to rehabilitate a historic building.

In other business, the  council:

— approved changes to the city’s pawnbroker’s ordinance that requires pawn shops to record video of every purchase or pawn transaction. The move is an effort to improve law enforcement’s ability to track down people who attempt to pawn or sell stolen items. The changes also require pawn shops to provide the city police department with a daily report of items purchased and pawned.

— approved a request to close the first block of North Third Street for Light Up Bardstown from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25, 2017. Lisanna Byrd, executive director of Bardstown Main Street, said the request is aimed at making sure those who attend the event are safe.

— re-appointed Austin Weller to a three-year term on the Joint Board of Ethics.

— appointed Pat Whelan to the Human Rights Commission

— appointed Jodi Jenkins to fill the unexpired term of Dulce Salas, which will expire March 1, 2019.

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