Town of Batavia board members are moving toward a cable TV franchise renewal with Time Warner Cable Northeast LLC and at the same time are leaving the door open to doing business with another cable provider, Empire Access.
The board, at its meeting on Wednesday night, voted to schedule a public hearing on the Time Warner (also known as Charter or Spectrum) franchise agreement renewal for 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at Batavia Town Hall.
Terms of the 10-year agreement include the ongoing 5-percent franchise fee that goes to the Town for all cable-related services offered by the company, said Board Member Patti Michalak, who serves on the cable television committee.
“While our contract doesn’t expire until March 2018, we’re doing this now because all towns (in Genesee County) basically will have the same contract (heading into the new year),” Michalak said.
She said that Philip Fraga of the Cohen Law Group of Pittsburgh, Pa., has negotiated the franchise agreement on behalf of all county municipalities, and “the agreements are pretty much the same, except for a few tweaks here and there.”
As far as Empire Access is concerned, Michalak said representatives of that business “asked us to settle the Time Warner contract first before they talk to us.”
However, she said, the Town may not be able to deal with Empire Access “since they want so many customers per mile” and many people without cable services live in less-populated areas.
Michalak did say that the Town is willing to talk with Empire Access personnel, despite rumors to the contrary.
In other action, the board:
-- Appointed Kimberly McCullough as Batavia Town Planning Board secretary, effective Jan. 1, replacing Brittany Witkop, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. It is a part-time position.
McCullough, a legal document analyst for M&T Bank in Amherst, lives in East Pembroke. Her husband, Paul, is a member of the planning board.
-- Authorized the purchase of three parcels of land for right-of-way purposes to advance the Ellicott Trail Project.
The parcels were bought from the Elmwood Cemetery Association on Harvester Avenue for $25,600, Sikes Realty LLC on East Main Street for $2,200 and Jeffrey D. Freeman on East Main Street for $5,700.
The purchase prices were subject to appraisals by an independent appraisal firm.
-- Renewed shared services agreements with the state Department of Motor Vehicles (hearing room at the Town Hall), Town of Pavilion (code enforcement), Town of Stafford (financial clerk services), Town of Alexander (code enforcement), East Pembroke Fire Department and Fire District), and voted in favor of an agreement with the Town of Elba Water District No. 2 for operation and maintenance of water facilities.
-- Scheduled a rabies clinic coordinated by the Genesee County Health Department for 4-7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Town Highway Facility on West Main Street Road.
-- Renewed the Town’s contract with the Town of Batavia Fire Department for fire protection under the same terms as the 2017 pact.
-- Scheduled a special Town Board meeting for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 28 to consider authorizing an amended water agreement with Genesee County.