• Megann Horstead

New cable service provider seeks Joliet connection


The city of Joliet is looking to offer residents another cable service provider.

A pending proposal would allow interested residents to opt in as customers of Evansville, Indiana-based company Metronet. In Joliet, cable television customers currently have two options: AT&T and Comcast.

“We’ve been approached by a small firm operating in Indiana whose looking to enter the Illinois market and Iowa market and basically offer what Comcast and AT&T [offer],” Deputy City Manager Steve Jones said. “That includes the triple play, as they call it—telephone, video, internet, cable, etc.”

To date, Metronet is contracting with residents living in Romeoville, Oswego and Plainfield.

“We’ve had some discussions; they’re sort of in the due diligence phase right now,” Jones said. “But, it’s pretty clear that we’re already surrounded by some of their intent to lay some fiber down, so it’s likely that Joliet will be part of the overall initiative.”

Within the next month or two, the city will be looking to begin negotiations with the cable company.

Metronet offers fiber technology to the home, which dictates the speeds of cable and internet.

Jones said this technology brings a fiber connection directly to a home with incredible speed at a competitive price, compared with other service providers.

In order for a cable company to enter the state of Illinois, there are two avenues: local or statewide franchises. Metronet intends to seek a local franchise, officials said.

Under state law, any newcomer must get a similar cable contract to other existing municipalities. In doing so, officials will review the details of the agreement Metronet formed with the village of Plainfield.

“In effect, we’ll be looking at what Comcast has for the city and try to negotiate something along those lines,” Jones said.

The deputy city manager said the prospect of forming an agreement with a third competing cable service provider is exciting.

“Certainly, residents will have more choice,” he said.

Joliet looking to fill at-large city council position vacancy

After notifying city officials of his decision to resign from the Joliet City Council at the end of the month, Jim McFarland stepped down earlier than originally stated.

The first-term councilman took steps to make his resignation effective at midnight following the city’s pre-council meeting Sept. 19.

Mayor Bob O’DeKirk said it’s nice seeing the community’s interest in filling the vacancy.

“I’ve probably got about 20 or 25 people contact me about the open position, so I’m in the process of going through that,” he said. “I was hoping initially to have someone to bring forward tonight, to introduce them to the council so we could vote on them at the next meeting, but that didn’t happen because a large number of people had contacted me.”

O’DeKirk said filling the position as soon as possible is a priority for the city.

“My intention is to make a decision in the near future,” he said. “I’ll let you know and, ultimately, this person will appear before the council for an up or down vote. But, I do hope to have this position filled by the next council meeting.”

Change order for Joliet Union Station phase II roof rehabilitation approved

To complete the replacement of the concrete pave portion of the roofing system at Union Station, Joliet officials approved a budget amendment and change order request to account for added costs.

The Joliet City Council last week cast two votes to unanimously approve the measures.

The amendment allows the city to pay an addition $10,383 to add roof drains to low areas that were holding water on the roof and platform, according to the city.

Improvements will be paid for using Union Station rehab, buildings and expense funds.

Amendment granted for downtown floodplain mapping assistance

The city of Joliet is looking to perform a risk assessment analysis of the construction of a flood protection levee.

The measure would provide the city with the required regulatory protection for the areas of the downtown affected by the new mapping, in which officials intend to add to the project.

In 2013, the city awarded a professional services contract for the downtown floodplain mapping assistance project to Rempe-Sharpe & Associates in the amount of $57,700.

To date, the city has exhausted the appeal process.

The city will pay $10,000 for the added professional services using the engineering, construction and professional services fund.

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