Saturday, February 20, 2010
POMEROY - Despite plans by PacifiCorp to disconnect Almega Cable customers Monday, an Almega spokesman said Friday the company can take care of the outstanding invoices and the estimated 200 to 300 customers won't lose their service.
Charles Wesley, tech support supervisor at the company's Bedford, Texas, headquarters, said, "I was notified by a customer yesterday and it was quite shocking, and I wish to take care of this."
One option to pay the outstanding bills would be to sell the franchise to a company in Chicago, Wesley said.
Wesley said he is trying to reach the city of Pomeroy's attorney to discuss options.
Meanwhile, PacifiCorp plans to begin removing cable equipment from its utility poles Tuesday, a process that will take about two weeks.
Charter Communications announced Feb. 10 it would discontinue its pole attachment agreement with PacifiCorp in Pomeroy on Feb. 22.
Almega Cable obtained the cable franchise from Rapid Cable in Pomeroy in October 2008. Rapid Cable obtained the franchise from Charter Communications more than three years ago, according to a Charter news release.
Almega Cable has failed to address the pole attachment transfer, which in effect has kept Charter paying the fees to PacifiCorp for over two years past the date the system was sold, according to the news release.
The city of Pomeroy settled its own dispute with Almega in Garfield County Superior Court in December, but the city has not received any money for the settlement, City Clerk Shaun Martin said Friday. The city sought compensation for unpaid utility taxes. The judgment awarded to the city was for $6,120, plus $1,211.36 in costs, and $200 attorneys fees.
Martin was skeptical anything will be done by Almega to halt the line and equipment removal.
Although Wesley said there are 200 to 300 cable customers in Pomeroy, Martin said she is dubious about that number. The city has about 660 residential utility customers, she said.
Those losing cable service can go to satellite or antennae for television reception, Martin said.
Customers affected by the changes can contact Almega's corporate office at 817-685-9588.