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Council approves sharing tech services

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday approved another step toward sharing information technology services with Freeborn County. The collaboration is expected to save the city more than $6,000 a year.

The action was an amendment to a previous information technology sharing agreement between the two entities.

It allows Freeborn County to provide the city with Internet for $150 per month, plus an additional $49 monthly fee for the connection to the state router.

It will upgrade the city’s current Internet from 3 megabytes to 50 megabytes.

All city business locations, including City Hall, City Arena, City Garage and the Wastewater Treatment Plant will be serviced.

Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams said there will be an initial cost of $9,000 for the project, but after that it will save the city more than $6,000 a year. The initial costs will be paid back in 1 1/2 years.

Adams said Freeborn County commissioners are slated to vote on the agreement at their next meeting.

In other action, the council:

• Approved a request from the Freeborn County Humane Society to hold the second annual Buckets on Broadway fundraiser on Friday at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event is contingent on a Minnesota Department of Transportation permit approval.

• Heard about the results of the National Red Power Roundup that was in Albert Lea the end of June.

• Heard a presentation from Alice Englin with the Freeborn County Services Collaborative to Community Development Director Bob Graham for his role in supporting early childhood development in the county.

“Bob has a clear understanding how critical the early childhood years are,” Englin said.

• Approved a two-year maintenance agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation for U.S. Highway 65 and a portion of Minnesota Highway 13, which are the highway designations for Main Street.

• Postponed recognition of Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels with a life-saving award for his actions concerning a city employee on June 21. This recognition is slated to take place at the next Albert Lea City Council meeting.

• Approved a request from Country Financial to set up a canopy, table and chairs in front of 137 E. William St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 26.