CAC this morning, Peter Hechenbleikner (right)
Actual sit down negotiations between the town and Comcast begin next week in a closed session that will involve two members of the Cable Advisory Committee, their attorney/consultant Peter Epstein and Temporary Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner, who expects only two Comcast representatives to appear on the other side of the table.
The CAC is only advisory to the Select Board but they have been doing the heavy lifting for the past year on the ten year contract renewal worth around $6 million annually to Comcast and $300,000 (5%) to the town for Amherst Media.
The major sticking point is going to be the one time capital request for new equipment and infrastructure improvements.
The CAC is requesting $2.2 million and Comcast already counter offered with $450,000 -- the same amount given ten years ago and succinctly described by CAC Chair Dee Shabazz as "insulting."
Northampton just announced the renewal of their contract with Comcast and the one time capital amount went from $400,000 ten years ago to $750,000 now.