Councilwoman Bev Kinney announced at Monday's Grand Island Town Board meeting an agreement with Time Warner that will settle a lengthy impasse.
Kinney, liaison to the town's Cable and Communication Advisory Board, said she was happy to share the good news that the town and Time Warner had reached a settlement agreement "for back money" owed to Grand Island.
Kinney said the matter goes back 5 years. Time Warner has agreed to pay the town $67,540 in money owed, "Which is found money for us," Kinney said. Going forward, Time Warner will also adjust upward what its pay to the town in its franchise agreement by $12,000.
"This is just the first part of the Time Warner contract," Kinney said, noting the town had been without a contract with TWC since 1999. "After this is done and signed by the supervisor, between four to six weeks, we should have a final contract for the Cable and Communications Board to look over and recommend to the town."
In addition, the town is seeking a public education grant with Time Warner for $300,000 in partnership with the Grand Island Central School District to possibly receive equipment to start a production company and film local events such as athletic contests and town meetings.
According to Mark Gorton, audio-visual technician with the Grand Island Central School District, the grant could help build a TV studio that would be used as a shared service for creating programming on a Time Warner education/government public access channel, similar to what Niagara Falls High School has on another Time Warner channel in Niagara County.
Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe joined the school district's IT Director Robin Kwiatek and district Systems Engineer Josh Nichols, and Gorton at Niagara Falls High School over the summer for a tour of the TV facility with their channel director, Rich Meranto.