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West Carthage sets hearings on cable franchise agreement, farm animal law

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WEST CARTHAGE — The village Board of Trustees will hold public hearings Feb. 10 on new terms to the cable television franchise agreement, an amendment to the village code concerning farm animals and a proposed override of the property tax cap.

The cable franchise contract between the village and Time Warner Cable will reflect changes suggested by last year’s audit by Computel Consultants.

In reviewing the franchise agreement, the utility billing analysis firm found that a total of $7,738.82 had been underpaid to the village since 2006.

Computel reported that the franchise agreement is in violation of Public Service Commission rules in that it excludes franchise fees collected from subscribers each month from the calculation of gross revenue.

To remedy that, the new proposed agreement states the village fees will be collected based on all revenue without deductions to included basic, standard, digital and premium services. In addition, it would include advertising and home shopping revenues. The proposed new agreement would increase the term of the franchise agreement from 3.4 to seven years. If adopted, there will be a penalty of $100 per day if the franchise fee payment is not received by the village within 60 days and interest at a rate of 3 percent would be charged for any underpaid amount.

The village has proposed that the clauses concerning audits be deleted and the cable company would be held responsible for payment of local property tax. Under the new agreement, the village municipal building would be provided with high-speed Internet service at no charge.

Following questions about enforcement of the village code concerning harboring of farm animals within the village limits, an amendment was proposed to add penalties to the code. The change would impose a penalty not exceeding $300 for each violation, meaning each day a person or entity is not in compliance.

The proposed override to the property tax cut would be for the fiscal year beginning June 1.

The public hearings begin at 6:05 p.m. in conjunction with the board’s monthly meeting at the village municipal building, 61 High St. Copies of the proposed laws and franchise agreement are available for inspection during normal business hours.

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