Town renews contract with Cable ONE

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – While Natchez customers have complained about Cable ONE, the Vidalia Board of Aldermen voted 3-1 Tuesday to renew its franchise with the cable provider.

Alderman Richard Knapp was the only board member to vote against the motion. He said the Cable ONE franchise in Natchez is also up for renewal this year, and Natchez residents have recently complained about reception and quality of service. Some Natchez aldermen have expressed interest in inviting other companies to offer service.

&uot;I just wanted us to wait and listen to what Natchez had to say,&uot; Knapp said.

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But Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said he is pleased with the cable company. &uot;We’ve had a few complaints, but they’ve corrected the complaints when we called,&uot; Copeland said. &uot;They’ve basically done so far what they said they were going to do.&uot;

Bobby McCool, general manager of Cable ONE, told the aldermen its system is now on 100 percent battery standby and the company is working toward establishing a fiber optics system.

Cable ONE services Natchez, Adams County, Vidalia and parts of Concordia Parish.

Vidalia has contracted with the cable provider for about the past 25 years, although the business has changed hands several times, Copeland said. The provider was previously owned by Marcus Cable.

Tuesday’s vote contracts the City of Vidalia with Cable ONE for the next 10 years with a five-year renewal option.

In other business Tuesday the board took under advisement bids for Phase II of the City of Vidalia’s subsurface drainage project to enclose ditches.

Board members also voted on several occupational licenses, including the license for the former Sack and Save. Now known as the Vidalia Market, it is owned by Supermarket Operations, the same company with owns Ferriday Market, Natchez Markets I and II and Piggly Wiggly.

&uot;We’re excited about being in Vidalia,&uot; said Barry Loy, retail store director for Supermarket Operations. &uot;I think you’ll see a lot of positive changes in the store. We’re looking forward to getting it ready for Vidalia’s citizens.&uot;

Of more than 50 employees at the former Sack and Save, Loy said 31 of them opted to interview with the new business and 19 of those were rehired. Five other employees were transferred in from other Supermarket Operation stores.

Several former employees of Sack and Save said they were unhappy with how they had been treated by Supermarket Operations.

Yolanda Gray, a customer service manager, said she worked for Sack and Save for eight-years but was told last week she no longer had a job.

&uot;They offered me no explanation,&uot; she said. &uot;Sometimes I thing loyalty ought to count for something – experience ought to count for something.&uot;