Shamokin looks to renegotiate with SEVC
SHAMOKIN - City council has turned to a law firm to attempt to renegotiate its existing cable franchise agreement with Service Electric.
Council members voted unanimously Monday to pay Cohen Law Group no more than $2,000 to attempt renegotiation with Service Electric.
Steve Bartos, city clerk, said he's learned there are 19 different revenue sources that the city could pursue through the cable company, which he estimated could generate an additional $750,000 income for the city over a 10-year span.
The city, currently in the second year of a 10-year contract with the firm, only charges Service Electric an annual franchise fee. That fee is a percentage of the company's gross revenues for basic cable service.
In 2013, the city expects to receive $62,605 from the fee, according to this year's operating budget.
Service Electric pays a portion of its gross revenues for basic cable service to host municipalities. The maximum charge under state law is 5 percent, which is the percentage charged by Shamokin.
The franchise fee is assessed on Service Electric customer bills.