Ky. City Set to Fine TKR Cable

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TKR Cable faces fines of $500-a-day for failing to completea fiber optic upgrade of its 4,000-subscriber system in Newport, Ky., in a timely manner.

However, city officials will wait until the MSO finishesits rebuild of the local system, which is scheduled for late February, before deciding howto proceed.

Once the job is done, TKR Cable will propose a settlementcovering fines that began accruing Jan. 1, when the project was supposed to be completed,said city attorney Michael Schulkens.

'If they're 60 days late, and the fine is$30,000, the system has indicated that it will make a proposal on how to settle up,'Schulkens said. 'We'll address the issue of damages. But, for now, we'veagreed to wait until the project is completed. But it's our intention to invoke somekind of penalty.'

TKR officials did not return phone calls requestingcomment.

Under the terms of its franchise agreement, TKR had untilthe beginning of 1998 to complete an upgrade of its system in Newport, which promised toboost the local lineup from 54 to 80 channels. However, with a month left in 1997, thecompany informed the city that the job would not be completed until sometime in the firstquarter of this year, Schulkens said.

'We put them in notice that they had 30 days tocomplete the project,' he said. '

In late December, The Kentucky Post reported thatcity manager Jim Parsons had told the city council that unless the company had a goodreason for the delay, the city should slap the MSO with the fines allowed under itsfranchise.

Schulkens said TKR Cable had indicated that the process hadbeen slowed by a recent announcement by its parent company, Tele-Communications Inc., thatit would transfer control of the system to a joint venture controlled by IntermediaPartners.

'But that wasn't the sole factor,' Schulkenssaid. 'The city's position was that we understood, but that was not our problem.Right now, they're pretty much working around the clock to get the job done.'

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