Preston company seeks approval for cable TV franchise agreement

KINGWOOD — A Preston County company planning to launch its own cable TV franchise is seeking a 10-year contract through the county commission.

Digital Connections, based in Bruceton Mills, owns Prodigi, a fiber-to- home product.

On Monday, company representative Tim Wotring asked Preston County commissioners to approve a television franchise agreement, also asking that they waive the 2 percent county franchise fee — $2 of each $100 billed for cable TV services — for the first two years.

“There’s just a heavy upfront cost” to the company, Wotring said.

Commissioners Craig Jennings and Dave Price were amenable to the agreement and waiver, with the caveat that it must be evaluated by the prosecutor. Commissioner Don Smith was absent.

“Our vision is to build our fiber throughout the county,” Wotring said. As the fiber network expands, so, too, would the TV network, he said.

Prodigi serves residents on W.Va. 73 to Coopers Rock, Pisgah, W.Va. 26 north to Glade Farms Road, Moyers Road, 26 into Kingwood to behind McDonald’s, and the Brandonville Pike to Centennary.

The company is currently building fiber on W.Va. 7 to Terra Alta and Alpine Lake, Wotring said. It is applying — in partnership with the Preston County Economic Development Authority — for a United States Department of Agriculture grant to run fiber another 82 miles.

Wotring said the cost to customers for the TV, internet and phone package to be offered by Prodigi will be competitive with other companies serving the area. Pittsburgh and Clarksburg channels will be offered, he said.

Also Monday:

County Administrator Kathy Mace said the HVAC in the deputies’ office and the furnace at the Extension office need to be replaced.

The vacancy on the Public Defenders Corporation Board of Directors does not have to be a retired law enforcement officer, as was previously announced, Mace said. Anyone interested in serving should call the commission office, at 304-329-1805.

The July 30 commission meeting was canceled.

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