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Red Bay still working on cable issues

RED BAY – For nearly two years now, the Red Bay City Council has been engaged with the MetroCast Cable Company, based in Mississippi, to negotiate several problems the city has experienced with the company’s quality of service.

At Monday night’s meeting, Councilman Brad Bolton said the city council as well as the citizens of Red Bay have been dealing with poor service, such as local and premium stations freezing and not being restored for days.

“After the tornadoes passed through on April 27, the stations from Huntsville and Birmingham were frozen for five days on the same radar from April 27,” Bolton said. “We had several storms pass through in those five days that followed, so our citizens didn’t have access to the most up-to-date weather information, which puts them in danger.”

Bolton said the stations were frozen again as recently as June 15 for no apparent reason and added it was time for some sort of action to be taken.

“We have a timeline dating back to Feb. 5, 2007 that shows MetroCast’s failure to address the issues we have been having,” Bolton said. “We’re requesting a representative from the MetroCast Company to address us in person and answer some questions.”

In a letter to MetroCast, the council stated they wished to see:

• Proof of an agreement between MetroCast and Comcast regarding fiber optic lines that are now providing stations to Red Bay.

• Proof of all upgrades performed in Red Bay that justified the rate increases.

• Proof the city is receiving their signals through the fiber optic line.

• Documentation explaining the most recent rate increase that went into effect in 2011.

The city council has requested a representative from MetroCast to be present at their July 18 meeting to answer those questions. The council also plans to have their agreement with MetroCast reviewed by city attorney, Sen. Roger Bedford, to see what their options are to move forward.

In other business, the council approved the following items:

• The use of the N Court debit/credit card acceptance program that will allow city fines to be paid online. Users will pay a small fee to pay their fines through the website, but the city will incur no cost from using the program.

• A policy to pay firefighters for emergency (natural disaster) calls.

• Storm debris removal from state property.

Mayor Forsythe also said the city of Red Bay would now be handling the applications for businesses or individuals who wanted to receive a grant through FEMA for a safe room. The city also has 25 books from FEMA outlining the blueprints for building a FEMA-approve safe room. Anyone who wants more information about receiving a grant should contact Forsythe at 256-356-4473 starting Monday.