Catskill close to inking agreement with MidHudson Cablevision
Ted Remsnyder is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the town of Catskill may soon approve a new 15-year agreement with MidHudson Cablevision. As part of the proposed contract, the town will continue to receive a franchise fee of 3 percent of the gross revenue received by Mid-Hudson Cablevision from recurring cable television subscriptions. The board held an initial public hearing on the agreement on May 3, but left the hearing open. Company representatives were invited to appear at a second public hearing on June 7. Finch said during the second hearing that the town received $60,300 last year between its contracts with Mid-Hudson Cable and Spectrum. Former Catskill Town Supervisor Joseph Izzo asked the board what would happen if the town declined to enter into a new 15-year agreement with Mid-Hudson. In response, town board member Jared Giordano said the town would continue to collect a 3 percent franchise fee from Spectrum. Rachel Puckett of Mid-Hudson Cablevision said the company has 860 cable TV subscribers in the town, with 2,237 customers receiving internet services from the cable company. She said the franchise fee applies only toward the cost of the actual cable. Puckett said the New York State Public Service Commission recommends a 15-year term for cable agreements with municipalities. Catskill resident William Hawthorne asked the board if it was possible to negotiate a shorter deal with MidHudson. He also raised the possibility of increasing the 3 percent franchise rate the town receives from the company. “I think the town should get a better cut on their costs,” he told the board. “I think we should increase the revenue for the town.” The board closed the public hearing and could take action on the proposed cable agreement at the board’s workshop meeting June 15 or its next regular meeting July 5. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.