The Glenwood City Council has reversed its position on raising its cable television franchise fee.
After more than 30 minutes of comment and discussion last Tuesday, Nov. 24, the council voted in favor of the first reading of an ordinance that will raise the franchise fee the city charges Mediacom, Glenwood’s cable television provider, from the current rate of 3 percent to 5 percent. The fee hike was voted down by a 3-2 margin in October but council members Kay LeFever and Susan Hirschman had a change of heart when the issue was brought forward again last week.
LeFever apologized for “not being educated” on the issue when the first vote was taken in October, however she said she has given the matter considerable thought and believes it would be beneficial to the city to raise the fee. Hirschman said she would vote for the fee hike if the the additional revenue it generates, projected to be approximately $12,000 annually, would be earmarked specifically for a swimming pool fund.
Craig Florian was the lone council member to vote against the proposal, noting that the matter was an opportunity for the city to “say no” to higher cable television bills for Glenwood residents. Council members and Mayor Dyle Downing have stated that Mediacom will pass down the fee hike to its customers in Glenwood.
As currently written, the ordinance says the additional revenue can be earmarked for specific purposes, but makes no designation of the money going toward a swimming pool fund. Three readings of the ordinance must be passed before it’s formally adopted.