Wednesday, October 15, 2014

County considers dropping AT&T for Time Warner

J-E News Editor
On Monday, members of the Webster County Fiscal Court heard from David Hagen, a representative of Time-Warner Cable. The cable television provider already supplies complementary cable service to several facilities maintained by the county. Now the company will be offering other services to county-owned facilities as well.
“Since we already have services coming into most of your facilities, it’s only a small step for us to offer you additional services at those facilities as well,” Hagen explained.

The additional services will include faster internet access and telephone services, at a monthly savings of around $851. Every county location except the new dog pound are eligible. Currently the county get’s both it’s phone and internet through AT&T.
The biggest concern for county officials was how the change would affect the Webster County Jail.
“I just want to make sure this isn’t going to cause a lot of problems and cost us a lot of money,” said Jailer Terry Elder.
The Jail goes through Jefferson County to hold arraignment hearings for prisoners. Those hearings are held over the internet via cameras at the courthouse. If the changes interfere with that service, it would generate additional expenses for both the jail and the Sheriff’s Department.
“If that system goes down, it could be down for several months and would mean that we would have to have somebody come in to fix it,” Elder added. That could cost as much as $500 a trip, and could take months to get setup. “We’re in the middle of our fiscal year and we don’t have a lot of money allotted for this kind of thing.”
If the system were to go down, the sheriff’s department would have to transport prisoners to Jefferson County for arraignment hearings, adding fuel and man hour costs and taking a deputy out of the county for the day.
The deal offered by Time-Warner would lock in the county’s prices for a period of three years. It comes with a ticking clock, however, because share holders recently approved the merger of Times Warner with Comcast Digital. When the merger is approved by the federal government, certain areas of Time-Warner (including all of Kentucky) will be sold off to Charter Communications in order to keep Comcast from gaining a monopoly in the communications market.
Magistrates decided to pursue the matter further and will have the arraignment system tested to be sure the change would not interfere with the hearings.
In other business, a house on Finley Street in Providence donated to the county by Wells Fargo Financial earlier this year sold at auction on Saturday. The house went for $15,500.
“It was a good investment,” said Judge Townsend. “It’s a pretty good house.”
Magistrates voted 3-0 to move forward with a plan to transition all of the county’s payroll to direct deposit. The change will go into effect with the first pay period of January.

Reach MATT HUGHES at 270-667-2068 or

No comments:

Post a Comment