Fiscal court signs 10-year agreement with Spectrum

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Bell County Fiscal Court approved a franchise agreement between Bell County and Spectrum during their regular meeting on Tuesday. The court signed the 10-year agreement in part to increase revenue for the county. The move will bring in an additional $60,000 to $70,000.

The vote wasn’t quite unanimous with magistrate Eddie Saylor being the lone “no” vote. Saylor voted no because of Spectrum’s decision not to expand cable in certain areas in the county.

“Somewhere along the line if we don’t stand and challenge them, and we may not have nothing to stand on, but we’ve got to realize we represent these people,” said Saylor. “We don’t represent Spectrum.”

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Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock said that’s what he was doing by making the motion to approve the contract.

“The representation of the taxpayer is exactly why we are trying to increase revenue that we have access to through this agreement,” said Brock. “I’m trying to represent the people by increasing revenue that we have access to by law.”

Brock went on to explain that the fiscal court has no control over what Spectrum does or how they run their business. He said the county has went in circles with Spectrum and other cable providers in the past in attempts to make some changes.

“When they de-regulated cable in the 80s, they took the authority the fiscal court had over the telecommunications provider away. They just stripped us,” said Brock. “Now, we pass these things and we get revenue. Rather than wait to renew this (agreement), we can do this now and get an extra three percent from our franchise agreement which ultimately ends up being an additional $70,000.”

Legislators made changes to the contracts and franchise agreements with Spectrum and the fiscal courts that allowed the revenue to be collected.