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New cable contract? Supe wants company rep to hear consumer complaints

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

In a brief work session Tuesday — kept short so the Town Board could inspect a site where an applicant is seeking approval to construct a dock in West Neck Creek — members discussed a pending agreement with Altice USA, the company that purchased Cablevision.

The last contract between the town and Cablevision, signed in 2013, decreed that 3 percent of every resident’s cable bill would go to the town.

Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. — negotiating on behalf of the Town Board to ratify an agreement — suggested that board members avoid raising the rate. Anything over 3 percent would likely be passed on to Altice customers, Mr. DeStefano advised.

The other issue surrounding the negotiations is the length of the contract. In past years, contracts lasted for 10 years, but in 2013, the town pushed for a five-year contract based on concerns that changing technology could affect the contract.

Now Altice is pushing to return to a 10-year contract, which is something board members may decide is beyond their comfort level.

Many Islanders complain about cable TV service. Supervisor Gary Gerth suggested Altice send a representative to a board meeting to hear about the discontent and make efforts to improve service here.

An Altice spokeswoman explained that there is a $14.99 discounted fee  available to those households where a family member is eligible for the National School Lunch Program or is 65 years old or older and a recipient of Supplemental Security Income. The discounted fee provides 30 Mbps of high-speed broadband service. To apply, visit www.alticeadvantageinternet.com or call (844) 358 3147.

A place to vote
Mr. DeStefano is working with Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. to determine steps necessary to ensure the American Legion Post/ Youth Center can be used for voting in future elections.

Security measures at the school have resulted in a request from Superintendent Christine Finn to move the polling place from the gymnasium when students are in the building.

A ramp provides handicapped accessibility to the American Legion building, but the doors aren’t wide enough to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. DeStefano estimated that the job could be done for about $5,000.

Mr. Gerth called it “a win-win” that will make the American Legion Post/Youth Center accessible for voting, and also for other activities and programs.

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