Negaunee Cable System Talks

The city of Negaunee is discussing the future of its city–owned cable TV system.

At a budget hearing last week, the city council agreed to discuss the cable system at tonight’s regular meeting.

The city is planning to increase cable TV rates next year on both of the packages it offers by $1.50 per month.

City Manager Jeff Thornton says local TV channels are now demanding re-transmission fees from cable operators in order to carry their signals, which the stations didn’t always do.

He says the city cannot afford to absorb that cost, so it needs to be passed along to customers.

The council also discussed how much longer the city may own its own cable franchise.

Earlier this year, it voted to request proposals from cable companies to sell the system.

Council member Michael Van Straten asked the rest of the council why the city has not gone forward with that idea.

The council members voted tonight to continue with the cable system for the time being and to withdraw the request for sale proposals while monitoring the system and its costs closely.