Clinton is finally on the brink of renewing an overdue contract with Cablevision.
During a Town Board meeting on Nov. 12, then-Town Supervisor Jeff Burns outlined the history of Clinton’s Cablevision contract.
“The fourth item under old business has been old business for about eight or nine years,” he said. “Now, I know things move slowly in these small towns, but this is ridiculous.”
According to Burns, when Clinton’s former contract expired in 2007, Cablevision held onto the contract for five years, refusing to respond to requests from the town to engage in renewal negotiations.
“We constantly contacted them,” Burns said.
“Two and a half years ago, I told Roger, the guy from Cablevision, ‘If you don’t start negotiating, we’re going to open this up to other contractors.’ [Roger] said, ‘You can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Okay, sue me. You know, eight years is enough—let’s move.’ So …they hired a new person, and the new person is much more reasonable.”
Apparently, the staffing changes resulted in improvements in the accessibility of cable and TV services in the town. Back in September, major areas of the town, including portions of Shultzville Road, did not get Cablevision service. Now, approximately 99 percent of the town’s residents have access.
Cablevision representative Charlstie Vieth told the Observer, “Cablevision has a longstanding and valuable relationship with the Town of Clinton, and we look forward to continuing to serve residents as we work collaboratively with town officials to reach an agreement.”
At the Town Board’s Jan. 14 meeting, Councilman Mike Appolonia said, “[Clinton’s] Cablevision Committee met for a long period of time with Cablevision and finished the contract.”
The contract, which is a 15-year agreement, underwent extensive review by attorneys for both sides, a review that lasted until the morning of March 4, according to town clerk Carol Mackin. It was expected to be on the agenda for approval at the March 11 town board meeting.
The new contract mirrors Clinton’s former contract, with some changes. While Cablevision representatives will not consider a blanket discount for senior citizens, they may provide a rate reduction for seniors on an individual basis, depending on factors such as income.
In addition, the new contract includes a $17,000 upgrade to Clinton’s present equipment at no cost to the town.
Copies of the draft contract are available through the Town Clerk.