Town Manager Paul Bockelman and Select Board member Andy Steinberg attended final CAC meeting this Friday morning
After 36 public meetings, 7 private negotiation sessions, 2 public forums and countless hours reading draft after draft of a complicated contract the Cable Advisory Committee voted unanimously this morning to dissolve.
But like a phoenix (or zombie) they will revive in about eight years when the ten year contract with Comcast is a couple years shy of expiring.
Chair Dee Shabazz thanked her fellow committee members saying she could not have lasted this long as Chair without them, especially in light of the "negativity" of Comcast.
Town Manager Paul Bockelman followed up saying, "You were a stabilizing force over the course of four Town Managers."
Steinberg thanked them on behalf of the entire Select Board saying he now, "Really regrets we didn’t get more involved earlier. But we were busy hiring a new Town Manager. Amherst did however get extraordinary amount of capital ($1.125 million), more so than any other municipality in the state."
Negotiations are done with Comcast but now the town will negotiate a new ten year contract with Amherst Media who normally gets the entire 5% cut of revenues annually (about $300,000) as well as the one time capital amount ($1.125 million).
The stickler this time around will be the iNet, which the town relies on for all its data, phones, Internet and therefor is a benefit to every taxpayer in town rather than just the cable subscribers who benefit by it for their cable TV.
Select Board Chair Alisa Brewer made it clear the town would be keeping some of that $1.125 million in order to build a new iNet, which Comcast says we have to do within three years. Early projections for that cost are in the $200,000 range.