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Consultant hired to study cable

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle City Council is paying a consulting firm $12,019 to negotiate its new contract with its cable service provider.
According to the council, the $1-per-Hartselle resident charge is well worth the cost.
"With a consulting firm, at least we're retaining a professional," Councilman Allen Stoner said. "Hopefully, it will benefit the city."
The council is paying Local Government Services to negotiate its contract with Charter Communications. Officials have long expressed their dissatisfaction with both Charter's service and price and said the last contract, drawn up by Charter, was unfavorable to the city.
Charter subscribers were also upset when the company closed its Hartselle office and subscribers say they have difficulty contacting the cable company. The closest Charter office is in Decatur.
In the past, city officials considered teaming with Hartselle Utilities to form its own cable system, but abandoned the idea when it became too cost prohibitive.
Now, the city is taking the offensive.
With the help pf Local Government Services, the city is drafting its own agreement and is asking Charter to agree. They are also asking Local
Government Services to examine Charter's revenues to make sure the city has received all the tax revenues it was supposed to receive in the past.
"They will just make sure all the revenue has been reported," Mayor Clif
Knight said.
The city has $13,275 set aside for consulting fees, enough to cover the
Local Government Services cost.
"Negotiating these contracts is a highly, highly specialized area," City
Attorney Larry Madison said. "Other municipalities have found this to be money well spent."