According to an email message from Wesson mayor Alton Shaw that arrived here today, Wednesday, April 30, Bailey Cable has “tentatively agreed to leave the system on…until June 1.” No official agreement has been reached, but both entities have been working on the legalities to continue cable service in Wesson at least for another month.
At issue is whether or not Bailey Cable has lived up to its latest contract with the town, which became effective on October 3, 2006. Bailey effectively promised the town that the company would upgrade its system to digital quality by July 30, 2007, but was granted an extension by the town to March 31, 2008, after it became apparent that Bailey would not be able to complete the upgrade by the original date.
After the second deadline neared, the town notified Bailey Cable in a letter dated March 14, 2008, that it was aware that Bailey would not be meeting the deadline, once again. According to Resolution No. 41708 passed by town aldermen during a special called meeting on April 17, Bailey Cable had not responded to the letter. (The resolution passed 3-1 with Britt, Graham and Roberts voting yay, and Greer voting nay. Welter was absent.)
A representative from Bailey Cable attended the April 17 meeting and was told that, according to the contract, his company would be fined $500 per day for each day after the deadline passed until the system was upgraded. The town also asked the representative to have Bailey provide a performance bond once the violation occurred. The representative explained that it was a logistical problem requiring the work of several engineers and that because there were fewer customers in Wesson than in other areas, that it wasn’t the company’s highest priority.
In a statement Friday the representative said that he tried to present paperwork proving that the performance bond had been posted in 2006 at the meeting on April 17, but that the mayor declined to open the envelope.
As of last Friday, April 25, 2008, Bailey Cable had mailed a letter to its 120+ customers in Wesson and to the mayor of its intent to end the service on May 1. Shaw said that the company was in violation of the contract there, too, because the contract calls for a 30 day written notice before service can be terminated.
Wesson aldermen are expected to further discuss the matter at next Tuesday’s regular board meeting at 7 o’clock in the evening.