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Town files suit against Starkville cable firm


Allen Baswell



Although the town of Brooksville has filed a lawsuit against Starkville-based Cable TV Inc., attorney Monique Montgomery is hoping both sides can settle the issue away from the courtroom. 


"We are hoping both parties will get together to negotiate a settlement in this matter," Montgomery said. 


Montgomery is representing the town of Brooksville in the suit, which was filed Nov. 17 in Noxubee County Circuit Court.  


According to information from the lawsuit, the town and Cable TV Inc. entered into a written contract for the purpose of providing "valuable cable TV services to the residents of the town of Brooksville with the town receiving a franchise tax from the customer." 


The suit contends Cable TV has continued to bill and receive payments from customers in the Town of Brooksville, but refuses to pay the franchise taxes that are owed to the town. 


The suit said that Cable TV has defaulted "in the performance of the terms, conditions, and stipulation of the contract, and inappropriately billed the Town of Brooksville''s customers for franchise taxes each month" without paying the town for the amount received for these charges. 


The town has made continued demands of payment from Cable TV Inc., and on or about Sept. 17, the town demanded full satisfaction of payment in the amount of $72,450 from the company. The suit says Cable TV sent $3,000 to satisfy the claim, which was not acceptable to the town. 


Norvell Williams, a representative with Cable TV, said he had put the matter in the hands of his attorney, Russell Rogers of Starkville. 


"We got the letter about two weeks ago, and I turned it over to our attorney," he said. 


Rogers did not return messages left by The Dispatch. 


Macon Mayor Bob Boykin said his city also has a contract with Cable TV Inc. 


"Our franchise tax is 3 percent of the customer''s regular cable bill, which is $33.91, or $1.02 per customer. We have at least 500 customers in Macon," he said. 


Brooksville Mayor Tammie Holmes said all the city wants from Cable TV is full payment up to November, and to resolve this issue soon. 


"We hope the attorneys will work on something to get everybody to come to the table, go through the records and work something out," she said. 


According to information from Manta, a Web site devoted to small businesses, Cable TV Inc. is a private company established in 1996. Records show the company has an annual revenue of $1 million to $2.5 million, and employs a staff of five to nine people.


Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch



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