Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

Video: Columbus Notes: Cable, Urban Renewal, Storm Frustrations

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Cableone and Columbus have reached a new 15-year franchise deal that will pay the city $15,000more a year in franchise fees from new fees on its advertising.

But the biggest news for City Council members Tuesday night was about something else. Cableone Manager Kenny Wright said the company is negotiating with the SEC Network for this fall.

Council members say it’s one of the questions they get asked most from college football fans.

The SEC is taking control of sports broadcasts this year but cable companies must sign deals to carry games. Wright also said new digital technology this fall may allow the company to offer more packages to better meet customers’ needs.

CableOne also will buy $16,000 in new equipment for broadcasting city council meetings as part of the new contract, will pay the $8,000 fee for the consultant the city hired late last year to negotiate the deal and is barred from raising rates to offset the higher fees.

REDEVELOPMENT PLAN TAKES ANOTHER STEP

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Columbus residents who hope urban renewal might bring instant change to their neighborhoods will have to wait.

The City Council approved areas Tuesday night covering more than 800 lots and almost 900 acres from along Highway 45 and 18th Avenue through downtown, the Island and the Southside Warehouse District.

But city officials told residents worried about property values and rezonings the districts are a first step in a long process. The idea is to use incentives and public-private partnerships to attract development in older areas to raise property values and turn abandoned properties into new revenue generators.

The city now must name a development authority to oversee the effort. It’s similar to one that’s been going on 20 years in Tupelo.

RESIDENTS SHARE STORM FRUSTRATIONS

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Frustrations over spending as many as seven days without power boiled over at Tuesday night’s Columbus City Council meeting.

A resident of Summerhaven Drive complained she and her neighbors never saw any city workers or city leaders for days after April 28 storms downed trees and power lines on their street in East Columbus.

A Maple Drive resident said he complaints weren’t with city leaders, who he knew were out trying to help in neighborhoods. He said his problem was with the inability to get answers from Columbus Light and Water and on how long his neighbors would be without power.

It finally was restored Sunday.