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Fiscal Court rejects cable franchise bids

Jessamine County may have competitive cable providers in the future.

Tuesday afternoon, the Jessamine County Fiscal Court voted to reject bids from Charter Communications and Metronet after neither met the county’s requirements.

The county had previously retained Linda Ain as its attorney for cable negotiations. After reviewing the bids, she determined Charter’s bid did not meet the county specs and Metronet’s had some inconsistencies in wording, Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl said.

In rejecting the bids, the court also authorized Ain to negotiate an agreement with both companies, he said. Charter’s previous agreement has already expired and they are operating on a month-to-month basis, he said. Federal law prevents the county from canceling the agreement, he said.

The county previously approved an ordinance to allow multiple cable franchisees, Goettl said, which opens the doors for Metronet and others to expand.

“We think Metro will eventually end up with a franchise,” Goettl said.

Earlier in the meeting, the court voted 5-1 to end a lease agreement for a communications tower on Chrisman Mill Road in southern Jessamine County. Judge-Executive David West said the tower was built for emergency communications, but there is no communications equipment currently on the tower.

The tower, fence and a shell of a building on the site will be declared surplus and sold.

The county was paying $850 a month to lease the site. West said there was a small radio station in the county that paid the county $250 a month to use the tower.

With the court’s vote, the lease will expire June 29.

Magistrate Paul Floyd voted against terminating the lease.

In other action the court:

— approved agreements to accept $753,101.62 in state county road aid funds.

— voted to promote planning and zoning technician Jeremy Young to planning and zoning administrator.

— accepted the resignation of Devin Murphy from Jessamine County EMS.

— terminated the employment of Matt Poll from Jessamine County EMS.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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