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Officials discuss cable franchise

July 08, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - An Adelphia representative told Sharpsburg officials Monday night that they could get free cable service for the elementary school, library, fire company, ambulance company and Town Hall when the town renews its franchise.

The elementary school also could get a free modem for Internet service, said Brian K. Burger, assistant district manager for Adelphia.

Town officials said they weren't sure if cable was allowed at the school. They asked if the school could still get free cable if it is outside town limits.

Burger said the school could get free cable if it is within the town's franchise area.

Burger said the town's cable franchise expired more than two years ago and needs to be renewed. The length of the franchise term is negotiable, he said.

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Burger said town officials could raise the franchise fee to 5 percent.

The fee probably was set at 3 percent to cut residents some slack, Mayor Hal Spielman said.

Burger said that was rare because many franchise holders charge users the maximum fee. He said it's up to town officials to decide how to spend revenue from the fee.

Burger also updated town officials on the cable company's status.

Company officials expect Adelphia to emerge from bankruptcy in the second quarter of next year, Burger said.

Adelphia filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2002 amid allegations of white-collar crime, Burger said. The company is under new management, he said.

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