Helena ordinance would charge telecom companies looking to expand

{{featured_button_text}} .tnt-restrict-img-44b22d11-43d4-52ad-b943-9ce6b4e317ba { max-width: 1764px; }

The City-County Building in downtown Helena.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record Cameron Kia Weix

Amid growing interest from telecommunications companies to expand, Helena is adapting with a city ordinance for processing their applications.

Last week, the city commission approved first passage of an ordinance to charge fees for cable and telecom franchises to cover the cost of reviewing their applications. Helena has received inquiries in the last six months about companies possibly expanding telecom service, including installing fiber optics, according to commission documents.

“Currently we have exhausted what we have available for this type of technical review, and we are at the first quarter of the year, so no, we do not have sufficient resources for it,” City Manager Rachel Harlow-Schalk said to the commission.

The ordinance came about a month after the commission considered and tabled a similar emergency ordinance. Harlow-Schalk said the pace of inquiries had slowed down and the city proposed a regular ordinance instead.

City Attorney Thomas Jodoin said in an email his office recommended the emergency ordinance

View Source