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Posted: 01/02/13

Village trustees agree to
amend cable contract

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Village trustees are seeking amendments to a cable service contract before agreeing to hand over franchise fees.
       On Dec. 17, the Village Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to amend a contract between itself and Washington Township for local public cable services.
       The village, along with Bruce Township, contracts with Washington Township for cable services. In turn, Washington established a Community Media Center (CMC) and contracts its operations out to MiCommunity Media.
       Village President Mike Lee said one of the amendments he suggested was having a single contract for Romeo as opposed to one tied in with Bruce Township.
       Additionally, he said the scope of work should change if funding is reduced to the CMC as opposed to the amount of service itself.
       The contract maintains the village provides 95 percent of its cable franchise fees to Washington Township as payment. Lee said when asking if the village could reduce its contribution to 90 percent, Washington agreed on the condition that the village wouldn't receive any excess revenue if any is made over the established caps.
       "Hopefully there will be some revenue shared, which would overshoot that extra 5 percent," Lee said.
       Village Attorney Mark Clark brought up concerns he had with the contract, one of which dealt with the excess revenue.
       The contract sets the first year's cap at $33,000 and increases it to $44,000 for April 1 to March 31, 2015. Another increase to $48,000 occurs for April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. Anything over the caps will be distributed to the communities.
       Clark said he believes the caps should be lower since the CMC has established itself and has likely absorbed all front-end costs.
       "I would think that the revenue sharing you'd want a lower number, that you'd want to participate in the revenue sharing sooner rather than later," he said.
       When disputing the contract, it states Romeo has 15 days to notify Washington Township of the complaint, and has 30 days to resolve it before legal action is pursued. The contract says if the village doesn't comply with these deadlines the complaint will be waived.
       Clark objected to the latter portion, saying it imposes a short period of limitations. Trustees changed it to 45 days.


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