Fiscal Court discusses Spectrum contract renewal; accepts different grants

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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On Wednesday, April 10, the Clark County Fiscal Court met at its new time of 8:30 a.m. 

The court discussed the possibility of renewing a contract with Spectrum, while also approving grants for different departments. 

Regarding the first matter, Carla Sandusky – a representative of Spectrum – spoke before the Magistrates. 

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According to Sandusky, a seven-year cable franchise agreement was entered into in 2017 during the tenure of former Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham. 

Approximately three years ago, broadband access was extended to nearly 2,000 more homes in Clark County. 

It’s been one of many actions Spectrum has taken during a working relationship with Clark County for approximately 25 years. 

“I’m coming here to see if we can renew that cable franchise agreement, and that way we continue to do operations here in the county.” She said. “[I’m] excited about the broadband expansion and building throughout the county. The current [franchise agreement] that we have in place now expires on June 25th of this year, so we have a little bit of time to work with it. If we don’t get it renewed…we can still operate under terms of the current agreement, but we would like to get that renewed as soon as possible.” 

Magistrate Blanton was one of several Magistrates who spoke. 

“What we need is the existing agreement and the proposed agreement, and we can go from there.” he said. “Just send it to [Clark County Judge Executive Les Yates] and he can distribute it…If you can get that to the Magistrates and the County Attorney to review, then we can put it on the agenda.” 

Sandusky agreed to do so, explaining that a franchise agreement with Charter Communications is required by state and federal law. 

Spectrum is the trade name of Charter Communications. 

Magistrate Chris Davis also spoke. 

“I would like to see before any work is done…that a right-of-way plan is presented to and approved by the Clark County Road Department.” He said. “No work, digging, clearing, [or] anything…takes place before the Road Supervisor has approved the plan…that’s going to be safer.” 

No official action occurred regarding the Spectrum agreement at Wednesday’s meeting. 

At the meeting, different department heads spoke of grants. 

While Clark County Road Supervisor Allan Curtis acknowledged applying to a grant related to compost at $89,000, he requested the Fiscal Court to approve a grant application with the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund of up to $40,000. 

After discussion, Davis spoke. 

“I’ll make that motion to approve an order to do the grant application as outlined by Road Supervisor Curtis, to also articulate our support for the grant and further authorize the Judge to sign all associated documents with the grant applications.” Davis said. 

The motion passed unanimously after being seconded by Magistrate Ernest Pasley. 

In addition, Clark County Fire Department Chief Steve Asbury spoke. 

“I’d like to submit an application to FEMA for the SAFER Grant.” He said, referring to the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant. “What we’re asking for is two employees per shift, so it would be six more employees. FEMA will cover the cost of those employees 100% for the next three years.” 

The grant is approximately $1.65 million over three years, with certain conditions that include employee retainment being required. 

The grant application was approved unanimously by the Fiscal Court.