Cable rates could increase in the near future, but the Telecommunica- tions Board opted to table any action on the matter until they can look at some other options.

    The board met in special session on Wednesday, August 31 and discussed the increasing cost of programming for the cable system.  

Board chairman Greg Latham told board members that programming companies have raised channel costs over 88 percent from 2004 to 2011.

    This costs the local cable system an additional $175,000 per year for programming, and Latham noted that the board can no longer absorb these tremendous costs.

    One option the board is considering is to offer a couple of digital packages that would be available after the upgrades made as part of Phase 1 of the fiber project. Latham noted that a special meeting will be called in about two weeks so that board members can look at all the options before making a decision.

    Board members were also updated about the initial phase of the fiber project. A couple of pieces of equipment will round out that portion of the project, and Latham indicated there would be about $1,100 left in that part of the funding.

    After all those pieces of equipment are acquired, then the information will be compiled into financial statements and will be forwarded to RUS officials in Washington, D.C., where the decision will be made whether the board can move ahead with the remainder of the fiber project.

    Also during the meeting, the board:

    • Agreed to leave the meeting day and time for the third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m.

    • Discussed board member terms and adopted a board officer police.  

Officer positions on the board will include: chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer. Secretary and treasurer positions may be combined if necessary. Officer terms will coincide with board member terms.

    • Met in executive session to discuss the strategic business plan.

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