The city and a cable television firm are cautiously optimistic they will reach agreement on a new attachment proposal on a service contract.
Citing problems that go back to 1979, the Kaysville City Council Feb. 16 revoked its facilities attachment agreement with Wasatch Community Television, giving the cable firm 30 days to remove all of its equipment from the city.Walt Meacham, manager of Kaysville's city-owned electric utility, told the council Tuesday a new agreement has been drafted and forwarded to TCI, the cable firm's parent company.
Ron Olberding, Davis County general manager for TCI, said the contract is being studied by his company attorneys and, although the agreement appears similar to operating contracts in other Utah cities, he can't comment on specific provisions.
But Olberding agreed his company's installation crews in the past failed to get required permits before stringing TCI cable and hookups onto the city's power poles, the main area of contention between Kaysville and TCI.
"The main issue has been illegal attachments," said Olberding. "We are required to get a permit from the city before attaching to one of their poles, and we've failed to do that in the past.
"There were some safety issues in the past, but when they were brought to our attention by the city's audit of their electrical system, they were taken care of," Olberding said.
Olberding said he doesn't see any big problems with the new Kaysville attachment proposal, which TCI received Friday.
In general it's comparable to other attachment agreements, Olberding said, except for a $1-per-year-per power-pole fee Kaysville is proposing to cover the cost of its city electrical crews doing an annual audit of the system.
To do the audit, crews have to physically examine the entire system, checking on cable TV hookups, wires and installations and comparing them to city records to ensure each hookup is covered by the required permit.
The city is proposing the $1-per-year-per-pole fee to pay for that audit, and Olberding said the clause is "not a stumbling block, it's a negotiable item."
The new agreement raises the attachment fee per pole from $4 to $4.65 a year, which Olberding said is comparable to the fee paid to Utah Power & Light. It also sets up a $150 fine for every hookup done without obtaining a permit.
Meacham called the proposal fair but also said it is non-negotiable from his point of view, although the City Council can override that position.
"We're getting close to the 30-day notice when they (TCI) will have to pull their facilities out of Kaysville, so I don't see they have much room to negotiate. They're under the gun," said Meacham.
Meacham and Olberding both emphasized that TCI still has a franchise to provide cable TV service to Kaysville. The facilities-attachment agreement governing installation of hookups is a separate contract from the franchise agreement.
"Their franchise was never threatened. What we invoked was the clause revoking the facilities-attachment agreement, telling them they had 30 days to get their equipment off the city-owned power poles. It was the only way we had to get their attention," Meacham said.
"And I think we did that. The people from TCI we're dealing with now are very cooperative, they agreed they dropped the ball and created their own headaches," he said.