A small portion of the delinquent service fees owed by Comcast Cable was paid recently to the city of West Point, but since receiving that payment the city has not received a dime of the large balance remaining.
In their Jan. 8 meeting, the West Point Board of Mayor and Selectmen granted Comcast a 45-day extension of time to pay the $6,000 franchise fee owed to the city’s general fund and to enter into a contract through which Comcast would pay $15 per pole attachment.
A few weeks ago the city did receive a $6,000 payment from Comcast, but Water and Light Department Superintendent Dwight Prisock said it’s been nearly a month since the city has heard from Comcast or received delinquent payment for utility pole attachments. Since 1960 Comcast has paid only $1.50 per pole attachment in the city of West Point, but Prisock said that is about $13 less than the present rate per pole attachment.
In December the city wrote Comcast a letter requiring that the cable provider send a check for $23 per pole attachment for pole rentals in 2011, 2012 and 2013 or sign and return the contract with the city. Upon receiving a signed contract from Comcast the city of West Point would re-invoice the company for $15 per pole attachment instead of $23 per pole. Comcast currently has 1,691 attachments on city-owned electrical poles throughout West Point.
As of Monday the city still has not received a signed contract from Comcast or any pole attachment payments from 2011, 2012 or 2013. The new deadline granted to Comcast is inching close, and if Comcast doesn’t send payment for pole attachments or send the signed contract by the deadline the city may take action to remove all Comcast attachments from the city’s utility poles. If this happens Comcast cable customers may have to consider Dish Network, Direct TV or AT&T for television and Internet services.