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Finance Committee acknowledges new En-Tel holding co.

WILLMAR -- The indirect owner and holding company of En-Tel Communications LLC in Willmar will change to Windstream Corporation, but Willmar residents who receive cable services from En-Tel will see no change in service or rates, Willmar city officials have been told.

Iowa Telecommunications Systems, the indirect owner and holding company of En-Tel, has entered into an agreement and merger plan dated Nov. 23, 2009, with Windstream Corporation. Windstream will become the indirect owner and ultimate holding company of En-Tel. Under a transaction approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on March 22, 2010, Iowa Telecommunications will be become a Windstream subsidiary.

En-Tel is franchised by the city to provide cable services under an ordinance adopted by the City Council on Nov. 21, 2001. En-Tel will continue to hold the franchise and operate and provide cable television services under the franchise, according to a resolution approved by the Willmar City Council's Finance Committee on Monday.

Although the franchise and state law do not require the city's approval of the change in En-Tel's ultimate parent company, En-Tel and Windstream desire to have the city acknowledge the change and confirm the city does not object to the merger.

The resolution approved by the committee confirms that the council has no objection to the merger and resulting change in En-Tel's parent company.

"Other than the brand name change on their bills, residents of Willmar who subscribe to En-Tel's cable service will experience no change in their service or rates as a result of this parent company change,'' wrote En-Tel General Manger Jeff Roiland in a letter to the city.

In other business, the committee approved the preliminary budget of $272,000 for improvements to two parking lots at the north Swansson Field. Bids for the improvements will be opened June 15.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150