County tables Cable One contract
by Paisley Boston
Mar 18, 2014 | 3830 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cable One General Manager Sandra Melton presented a 15-year contract to the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors on Monday but she did not get the response that she was hoping for.

Supervisor Donny Whitten was absent during the Bolivar County Board of Supervisor meeting and members of the board did not want to approve the contract without all members being present.

"We need to wait until Whitten is present so that we can make a unified agreement. Let's table this situation and we will make a decision at the next board meeting," said Supervisor James McBride.

"Whenever you are presented a contract, you must be given ample time to review it so that everyone involved in making a decision will have an input. I want to make sure that things within the contract cater to the needs of constituents within the county," he added.

McBride and Whitten’s supervisor districts include city of Cleveland.

"These kind of dramatic decisions are long lasting and if the board is not operating with all members then we cannot make a sound decision. I am pretty sure that we are going to renew the contract but I don’t know the intricates that we are going to approve," said McBride.

"It would be kind of ironic for the county not to renew the contract and the municipalities that compose the county are contracted with the company," he added.

According to Melton she was hoping to receive a decision on Monday.

"The last time that we renewed our contract with the county was in 1996," said Melton.

"We have been doing a lot of improvements in our electronics and services. In the last 12 months we have spent $2 million to offer new services to our subscribers," she added.

The company services over 1,200 subscribers within Bolivar County but they do not cover Rosedale.

McBride said the county pays Cable One a franchise fee for its services.

"It might be minimal but we pay them. If we were to increase the franchise fee that this entity saves the county it would be more money in our tax cart. We want to take all of the information into consideration before making a decision," he added.

After much debate about the company's contract, Supervisor Preston Billings expressed a concern about the company's channel line up.

"Tons and multitudes of citizens within the county have approached me about a channel coming live from Jackson. The cable company that we had before you spoiled us. Every move that the legislature made, we were aware of it. We were elated to see our people in action," said Billings.

"I am simply saying that we want a station out of Jackson. Please get the people of Bolivar County a station out of Jackson," he added.

Melton said this channel was offered between 2007 and 2009.

"We have a limited ability to add new channels to our line up. We are required to have channels out of Greenville – it is called dominant marketing. Greenwood and Greenville are the dominant marketing channels for Bolivar County," she added.

Cleveland is still negotiating with Cable One and has not signed a franchise agreement with the company.