OTTUMWA — Ottumwa City Council members will continue their discussions on the city’s cable franchise Monday. It will be the council’s second look at the issue since Mediacom submitted a proposal.

The first look concentrated on what the city might like to consider in terms of services and duration. Mediacom’s first Ottumwa franchise was signed in 1980. The 25-year deal is much longer than anything under consideration this time around.

Proposals from the council have ranged in the five to 10-year range. Council members have also considered the possibility of allowing extension options for the franchise.

The council also left the door open for negotiations before the new franchise ends. Several members say they want to ensure the city has the ability to open discussions before the franchise expiration, especially with regard to technological innovations.

The agenda also includes discussion of a proposed street cut ordinance. Public Information Coordinator Tom Rodgers said the ordinance deals with any time a utility has to cut into a street.

Rodgers said the ordinance codifies just what repairs must be made when the streets are cut to gain access to the subsurface. Water main breaks and utility installations commonly require some cutting for crews to get to the site.

Rodgers said the city formerly had no established steps for utilities to take in order to ensure repairs are up to city standards.

The final item on the agenda involves the city’s laws regarding salvage dealers and salvage yards. The issue is a sometimes contentious one in Ottumwa. The city’s enforcement of the code was questioned in court earlier this year. The city won that case.

The work session is at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Room 108 at City Hall.

Matt Milner can be reached at (641) 683-5359 or via e-mail at

Council work session

When: 4:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Room 108 at City Hall

What: Three items are on the agenda, including the city’s cable franchise and a proposed ordinance for utility cuts in city streets.


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