Council Votes To Raise Cable Fee

Split vote on first boost in a decade

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Council member Fred Carpenter opposed increasing the cable fee because he said the cost would be passed on to residents.

Anyone watching cable television will be chipping in a little extra to balance Payson’s budget.

The Payson Town Council last week approved the first increase in the franchise fee for cable television. The town’s cut of your cable bill will rise from 3 percent to 4 percent. The increase will add less than a dollar a month to the bill for most people.

Town Attorney Tim Wright said the franchise fee amounts to the lease of town-owned streets, since most of the cable network is buried under or alongside the public streets.

“It’s like the rental of their ability to use the streets,” said Wright.

The town currently collects about $60,000 from the cable fee. The change should bring in an extra $20,000, said Wright.

Councilor Ed Blair said that he checked his $125 cable bill and determined the tax he paid to the town was about $2.

Mindful of raising fees in an election year, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans said, “I’ve looked at this. We’re providing a service (streets) that has a value to them. Now they’re generating $125 per household with all the ancillary services that come over that same cable over those same streets. This will raise the bill a minimal amount, although $20,000 is not a lot of money” given the town’s $10 million general fund budget.

However, Councilor Fred Carpenter said he opposed increasing the fee.

“This fee is still passed onto residents, so I would still oppose the motion” to raise the fee.

Councilor Su Connell, however, said, “the increase is going to be minimal, so I support after 10 years that we increase it.”

The council then voted 5-1 in favor of the cable fee hike, with Carpenter in opposition and Councilor Rick Croy absent.

Comments

Pat Randall 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Thank you Mr. Carpenter for voting no. The cable service I have is terrible. Why not kick out Sudden link and get a good cable co if you are raising the rates. Most of the people in my subdivision are going to satellite for TV. 9 in the last few weeks.
There have been as many as 5 people at one time trying to fix my cable and every time someone comes out it gets worse. If the price is raised I am sure more people will go for satellites. You aren't hurting the cable co. It is us that will be giving you the money. Is that little bit of money going to help the town or get more of the council voted out?

The garbage trucks are what are tearing up the streets. I live in a short cul de sac and 3 different garbage companies travel on it every week. Each to pick up 2 or 3 containers when one could pick them all up.

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H. Wm. Rhea III 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Cable TV, along with satellite is a rip-off. Dump them all and just go to the internet for programming. I have Suddenlink for Internet and they do that pretty well for me. I won't have TV, costs to much and there is precious little that's worth the time it takes to watch anymore.

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Susan Daniels 8 months, 3 weeks ago

In agreement, this will come out of the consumer's pocket. 3% isn't enough? And for what? Because you can?

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Pat Randall 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I have Sudden link for TV and Internet and it is terrible. It is usually my internet I have to call them to come out and do something. Just seems to get worse.

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Carl Allison 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, SuddenLink is remarkably benign for a cable provider. For about the same price Suddenlink charges you for internet, you could have Hughes Net satellite which is 392 times slower, with a 200Mb/day download limit and the most draconian administration imaginable. SuddenLink isn't perfect to be sure but some of the problems you're experiencing may be related to the hardware SuddenLink inherited from NPGCable when they bought them out. We had internet problems until the Suddenlink tech came out, took one look at the NPGCable modem and tossed it in the trash replacing it with a SuddenLink one. We haven't had any problems since. In our neighborhood, the service is via fiber optic and we have had no problems with that either. The connection might copper in some neighborhoods and I've never found that to be a benefit anywhere I've ever lived so that might be part of the problems you've been experiencing. It might be worth your time to find out what kind of modem you have in your home and have it replaced if you have an obsolete one. If all of the hardware leading up to and into your house is up to date, it's time to see if your computer system might be the problem.

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