Rural towns get County Board meetings on cable

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

Starting Friday, cable subscribers in 17 rural towns throughout Freeborn County and beyond will be able to see Freeborn County Board meetings on channel 6.

&8220;I’ve always been an advocate of open government &045; there’s nothing better than seeing our elected officials in action,&8221; Commissioner Dan Belshan said.

Belshan cooperated with Hollandale City Councilman Steve Manning and other Hollandale residents, as well as U.S. Cable, to get the meetings on the air.

Belshan and his wife Bonnie did purchase a DVD player and donate it to U.S. Cable so the recorded meetings could be transferred to the cable company’s format. No other costs &045; to taxpayers or to people already paying for cable &045; are associated with the project.

&8220;I’m assuming in the future we’ll upgrade to DVD, but we were just running VHS tapes,&8221; said Service Technician Ron Sands of U.S. Cable. &8220;That’s why we have not been doing it.&8221;

Cable subscribers in Glenville, Clarks Grove, Hollandale, Maple Island, Geneva, Ellendale, Alden, Freeborn, Hartland, New Richland, Claremont, Medford, Waterville, Elysian, LeCentre, St. Clair, and Mapleton will be able to see the meetings at 9 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday or 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Albert Lea’s Public Access Channel already broadcasts the county meetings, recorded by volunteer Chad Hayson, at those times.

Residents of Hayward and Emmons subscribe to a different cable company, and Belshan is still checking on ways to get county meetings to those people.