At its April meeting, the Frankfort Plant Board discussed roof options for the new water reservoir that will replace the current tanks. The board also reviewed options for offering cable skinny bundles and agreed to move forward on a partnership with Frankfort Independent Schools to reduce the digital divide among students.
The board voted at its March meeting to replace the 130-year-old reservoir tanks, which have reached the end of their service life. At last month’s meeting, the board also requested further information from a tank manufacturer on different roof options.
Talmadge Mincey, a representative from tank manufacturer CROM International, discussed tank construction including the concrete roof options. The cost for replacing the tanks has been estimated at $4 million. This cost includes a standard 1/10th rise free-span concrete dome. The tank consultant reported that a 1/16th rise free-span concrete dome would cut the height of the standard dome by seven feet and would add $500,000 to the project. The column-supported flat roof is a more complicated design, would raise the side wall by approximately two feet and would cost an additional $1.75 million to construct.
After hearing the presentation, the board requested renderings or a 3-D model of each roof in order to evaluate how each would be visible to the adjacent neighborhood.
“We’re committed to working with the neighbors. They deserve a right to see what this is going to look like,” said board member John Cubine. “We are working to find a compromise that will be acceptable to them while also meeting our obligation to keep costs to a minimum for all of our ratepayers.”
Nine corporations currently own nearly 100 of the cable networks. This consolidation in media ownership has caused classic cable to be too expensive for some customers. In an effort to provide more affordable cable packages, the board has directed FPB cable staff to investigate the feasibility of offering skinny bundles to cable customers.
Skinny bundles would expand customer choice and alleviate the requirement to pay for sports channel options if those are not desired. They would also increase the potential to keep current cable customers and attract new ones.
Staff reported to the board that it has explored contractual restrictions and discussed technical requirements that would need to be addressed. Offering skinny bundles would take Bandwidth set aside for future internet upgrades in speed. It would introduce new set top boxes and remotes to subscribing households and would require $22,000 for initial setup at the FPB Cable headend.
The board asked staff to pursue the option, develop an interest survey for cable customers and engage the Cable Advisory Committee to finalize lineups and report back at a future meeting.
The board also agreed to move forward on a partnership with Frankfort Independent Schools to close the digital divide among students. FPB approved a letter of intent to participate in a project to provide and install cable modems to identified students’ households who do not have access to the internet.
Other board business included adding language to the short-term disability policy and amending the job classification and compensation plan to create two new job descriptions in Water Treatment and reclassify one position in the Water Distribution Department.