Cartersville council approves agreements with Comcast
by Jason Lowrey
Dec 06, 2013 | 1280 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After what was described as lengthy negotiations, Cartersville has come to two agreements with Comcast over franchise and pole attachment fees.

During the council’s Thursday morning meeting, Assistant City Manager Dan Porta said the two fees were usually combined, but recent negotiations between the Electric Cities of Georgia — which worked with multiple Georgia municipalities — and Comcast resulted in an arrangement that split the cable franchise fees from the fees the company would pay to attach its cables to city electric poles.

Comcast was current on its franchise fees, but the pole attachment agreement allows the city to collect back fees that had not yet been paid.

Inside the agreement, which City Manager Sam Grove described as “a lengthy document,” is language stating the final deal will improve working relations between Cartersville and Comcast. City council member Lindsey McDaniel questioned the phrase, asking if working relations were poor between the two groups.

“We work very well with the local people, but Sam can attest to this, we have a very difficult time with the upper management in reaching an agreement on this contract,” said Cartersville Electric Service Director Don Hassebrock. “That is the working relationship we’re talking about. The local people and the city of Cartersville, we work well together and we’ll continue to do that on a day-to-day basis. It’s just been major differences with Comcast management.”

Mayor Matt Santini welcomed the agreement.

“This will be a good thing just to get behind us. We’re not talking about, while every penny is precious, we’re not talking about a massive amount of money, and the time and expense it has taken to negotiate this and the aggravation — once again, your point is well taken,” he said to Hassebrock. “The local people with Comcast have been absolutely fantastic.”

Other city council business included:

• Approving a text amendment application by Womac Two LLC to add the use of automotive storage yards and wrecker service in the light industrial district.

• Approving a rezoning application by James Kareken for property located on Old Alabama Road near Douthit Ferry Road from townhouse residential to single family residential.

• Approving amendments to the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget.

• Restoring capacity fees for water and sewer services to their full amounts.

• Approving a public service commission consent agreement.

• Approving a memorandum of understanding between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force for an office expansion. Cartersville Police Department Chief Tommy Culpepper said the FBI would finance the expansion.

• Approving the purchase of three vehicles for CPD in an amount not to exceed $97,000, including equipment.

• Approving an Itron handheld unit used for wireless meter reading in the amount of $5,178.

• Approving the purchase of lighting for the Academy Sports + Outdoor in the amount of $27,210. The total cost for the project is $43,410, with Academy Sports contributing $16,200.

• Hearing the final results from the 2012 Citizen’s Survey. Full results are available to the public at www.cityofcartersville.org.

The Cartersville City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 2, at city hall with a work session at 6 p.m. and regular meeting at 7 p.m.