Cbs Affiliate Could Pull Cable Plug

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NPG Cable subscribers may not be able to watch "Survivor," "CSI," "60 Minutes" or "Letterman" -- not to mention "NCAA Basketball March Madness" -- unless the local cable company can come to an agreement with KPHO, the Valley CBS affiliate.

In fact, KPHO (Channel 5) will pull the plug on NPG tonight unless the stalemate is resolved. The station wants NPG to pay 60 cents a month per subscriber to carry the station, which would make it the only local station to charge such a fee.

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Popular CBS shows that may not be available to Rim Country cable subscribers include "Survivor," "CSI," "60 Minutes" and "Letterman" -- not to mention "NCAA Basketball March Madness."

In a letter read to the Payson Town Council Thursday evening by Town Manager Fred Carpenter, NPG District Manager Wayne Beikmann asked subscribers to call KPHO to protest the station's position.

"The people at KPHO care about what you think," Beikmann wrote. "Let them know that ‘no cash no carriage' is just not fair."

Beikmann said agreements are in place with all the other stations it carries.

"Over the past four months, we have been negotiating with all of the broadcasters in the Phoenix area to continue to carry them on our cable systems in rural Arizona," Beikmann wrote. "We have one broadcaster that we have not been able to come to an agreement with."

But Beikmann told the Roundup Monday that the two sides are still talking.

"We're still communicating. We're still negotiating," he said. "We're still hopeful that we can reach an agreement with them.

"The deadline could be extended, but right now it's (Tuesday) night."

KPHO can be reached at (602) 650-5555 or 5feedback@kpho.com. Beikmann can be reached at (928) 779-3661, ext. 10.

In other action, Thursday evening the town council, adopted the 2006-2011 Corporate Strategic Plan CSP).

As part of the plan, the current council, town staff and council candidates ranked 17 objectives according to priority.

While the current council ranked "Secure new sources of water supply" as a top priority, town staff ranked "Promote water conservation" as their first priority.

"Upgrade police and 911 services" was ranked second by the current council, while town staff ranked "Secure new sources of water supply" second.

Other items on the list of priorities include:

  • Improve streets.
  • Upgrade fire and emergency medical services.
  • Improve airport.
  • Increase parks and recreation facilities and services.
  • Develop a library expansion program plan.
  • Improve storm drainage.
  • Implement the airport business plan.
  • Enhance town's economic performance.
  • Develop event center complex.
  • Reduce number of unsightly properties.
  • Enhance economic performance of Green Valley Redevelopment Area.
  • Recycling.
  • Evaluate organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Two objectives added too late to be included in the priority ranking were "Address work force housing" and "Wildland fire prevention and protection."

Thursday night, the Council also heard the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit the discharge of bows and arrows and crossbows in a municipal park. It was initiated after a goose was shot through the head with an arrow in Green Valley Park last month.

The Council also amended the unified development code to change the side yard setbacks to allow attached housing on contiguous lots, but only after the item bogged down for almost an hour over a proposed development on Tyler Parkway. Daniel Donaldson, a Payson resident, charged that Community Development Director Jerry Owen assured the developer, Kevin Sokol, that the council would pass the contiguous lots code amendment. But Owen told the council that the proposed amendment is not integral to Sokol's project -- a subdivision comprised of 40 townhomes and 26 single family homes at 400 N. Tyler Parkway.

"This other project could proceed on its own. This amendment could die," Owen told the council. "They're not related."

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