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Harrodsburg Discusses Renewing Cable Franchise With Spectrum

Commission Approves Increase In Water, Sewer Rates

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

A representative from Spectrum Communications appeared before the Harrodsburg Board of Commissioners Monday night to address citizens’ concerns and complaints.

Spectrum and the city are in discussions to renew the franchise agreement that gives Spectrum access to infrastructure to provide cable to citizens. The agreement expires March  2020. Ben U’Sellis, senior manager of government affairs with Spectrum, presented a slideshow listing some of the company’s efforts in building relationships with local leaders.

Once the presentation was over, Mayor Art Freeman said local churches have complained about not having a local access channel. U’Sellis said Spectrum is looking at ways to address this. For example, he said the City of Harrodsburg could manage a channel under the new franchise agreement.

Freeman said people also complained the local office had relocated to Danville.

U’Sellis said Spectrum is implementing new policies to make it easier to make payments and exchange equipment without traveling to Danville, including allowing customers to mail in cable boxes.

The franchise agreement  is not exclusive and Freeman said the city should contact other cable providers. U’Sellis said Spectrum had no problem with that.

Commissioner Charlie Mattingly asked about the rates paid by Spectrum customers. U’Sellis said the franchise agreement does not cover rates paid by consumers, only the amount paid by Spectrum to access infrastructure.

Since 2005, providers like Spectrum have paid telecom taxes to the state. Thanks to a court ruling, Harrodsburg has the option to switch back to franchise fees instead of accepting a share of state taxes and U’Sellis said he’d be happy to work with the city to see what option would work best.

In other business, the Harrodsburg Board of Commissioners gave first reading on ordinance 2019–15, which increases the minimum rate on water from $9.87 to $11.84 for 250 cubic feet of water as well as larger amounts. The commission also gave first reading on ordinance 2019–16, which increased the minimum  sewer rate from $12.99 for 250 cubic feet to $14.29, as well as increasing the rate for larger amounts.

The city commission will hold a special-called meeting on Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m. for budget and water/sewer rates. The next regular meeting will be on Monday, July 8, at 6 p.m.

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