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Montour considers new cable provider

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The Montour town board did not know in October when they decided on a five year renewal with Time Warner that it would cause them trouble.

Town clerk Deborah Riley said a representative told her the town had changed the legal document and that Time Warner does not do five year contracts.  Supervisor Dave Scott and Riley said they were then not able to ever speak with Dave Whalen, vice president of public and government affairs at time Warner’s central New York office.

Now, the town is currently under a temporary operating authority (TOA) until they can negotiate a new contract.  Riley said she understood it to mean just a temporary agreement until a new contract was reached.  Susan Eckhardt, with Whalen’s department at Time Warner, said she was not able to explain what the TOA was.

“I’m not at the level where I can release that,” she said.  Tom Doheny, a representative for Time Warner was supposed to explain, but did not call by press time.

At the last two Montour board meetings, the board members have discussed looking into a new cable provider instead of renewing the contract with Time Warner.

Watkins Glen is also in the negotiating stage with Time Warner, and have an extension of the old contract until a new one is agreed on.  Mark Specchio, superintendent of public works, explained that they needed the extension because by the time the old contract ran out, a new contract had not been agreed on.  He said that currently, the deal is being worked on by an attorney in Albany

“It hasn’t been all negative.  They’re willing to listen,” said Specchio.

The village of Odessa was also put into a TOA around the same time as Montour, but for different reasons.  Village clerk Kristi Pierce said some paperwork had missed a deadline and the state put them into the TOA for that reason.  The village itself had agreed to the contract with no big changes.

Pierce said the minimum time for a contact is now 15 years.  That is not only for Time Warner, but also Empire Service which provides them with telephone service.  She explained it is a state regulation that a company must offer the same plan as another company in the community to be a franchise.  


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