Rochester City Council to Vote on New Charter Contract
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - It looks like a truce has been reached between the Rochester City Council and Charter Communications.
The two have been feuding since 2014 when Charter sought approval of a new franchise agreement.
The Council became upset when Charter relocated 5 public access channels on its system in violation of its agreement. Although Charter argued it didn’t need the city’s permission, City Attorney Terry Adkins told the Council the company was facing a daily penalty of $150. The Council later approved a temporary extension of the agreement through the end of February.
The two sides have now come to terms on a new 5 year agreement that is scheduled to be voted on at the Council’s Monday night meeting. It requires Charter to pay the city $20,000 to settle claims. Charter will also keep the public access stations at their current locations.
The City Council will also be holding its first formal vote involving funding for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at Silver Lake Park. The city included $35,000 for this summer’s pyrotechnic display in the 2016 budget, but Mayor Ardell Brede says a formal vote is needed because the city is entering into a three-year contract with J&M Displays. Brede says the contract does not obligate the city to hold the firework shows in the next two years, but does require the city to use J&M Displays if it wishes to continue the tradition.
The city tapped a contingency fund last year to pay for the fireworks after a private fundraising effort faltered. For many years, the Post Bulletin paid for the fireworks shows until it stopped the practice a few years ago and some local business owners stepped in and funded the displays for a couple more years.