Adelphia agrees to relocate wires in Stanford

May 20, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - One of the last delays in Stanford's Main Street improvement project was removed Tuesday after weeks of struggle between city officials and Adelphia Cable.

The project, to beautify Main Street by removing all its utility lines, repairing sidewalks and adding new light fixtures, was delayed this month by Adelphia Cable. Adelphia's cable lines were the last remaining wires still hanging on Main Street's poles. Adelphia officials said the city would have to pay $11,000 for the company to relocate its cables behind buildings.

Relocation costs such as this had been negotiated out of the cable contract during its signing in 1999, said Mayor Eddie Carter.

The lawyer responsible for negotiating the city's cable contract, Linda Ain, confirmed that the relocation fees had been struck from the contract and advised against the city paying for that work. "She said absolutely not, don't pay them," said city attorney Carol Hill.


After notifying Adelphia on April 22 of the impending relocation, the company insisted for weeks that the city pay the relocation fee, said Carter.

"(Tuesday) they finally admitted they were responsible for incurring the cost of taking the cable down," said Carter.

"Normally we do get paid for that," said Jerry Marnell, Adelphia area director of engineering. "But in the franchise negotiations back in 1999, we negotiated that out. That was a misunderstanding on our part."

Hope to remove utility poles by June 1

Council members now have turned their focus on expediting the relocation, with hopes to remove all of the utility poles on Main Street by June 1.

A resolution to enforce Adelphia's timely compliance with the agreed relocation was passed by the city council at Wednesday's special meeting. The two-page document states that non-compliance of the move will result in legal action by the city against the cable provider.

The resolution has the teeth needed to prod Adelphia into action, said council members at the meeting.

"We don't want it three years down the road, we want it done now," said member Ann Booth.

"This should be a kick-start" to speed the lagging relocation, said Hill.

Adelphia's lines will be the last utility removed from the poles before they, too, are moved, said Carter. After the utility move, the street repair project will focus on mending sidewalks and pavement, replacing antique water lines and adding new light fixtures. Carter said he hoped the lights would be up by the first of July.

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