Good Call?

GLOVERSVILLE – City officials this week approved a three-year, $91,400 communications services agreement with Time Warner Cable despite a last-minute plea from Frontier Communications, which currently provides the services to the city.

Frontier, which has a Johnstown location, said its contract offer to the city was $15,840 cheaper, but city officials pointed to other reasons for agreeing to have Time Warner provide the phone and Internet services.

The city will enter into a contract with Time Warner Cable’s Latham-based office for business-class services.

A council-designated Internet services committee chaired by 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio and assisted by police Capt. Anthony Clay “extensively studied options” once the city’s contract with Frontier expires, stated a resolution adopted by the city Tuesday.

“The Common Council has reviewed the proposals presented to the city for business- class services and concluded that Time Warner would best suit the present and future needs of the city,” the resolution stated.

Before the vote on the proposed Time Warner contract, Frontier General Manager Todd Rulison made a plea to the council to stay with his firm. He was surrounded by about 20 red-shirted fellow employees and supporters attending the council meeting. Many of them waited in the halls during a closed-door council executive session to discuss the contract.

“Our employees are concerned you are entertaining this proposal,” Rulison told the council.

He said many of his company’s 200 employees “live, work and shop” in Gloversville.

Rulison also said the offer from Frontier would have totaled $75,560, which is about $15,000 cheaper than the Time Warner deal.

After the executive session, the council approved the contract with Time Warner. No city officials commented during the council session.

Anadio said this morning the city made its decision based on information it has had for some time.

“They’re offering more support and services,” the councilwoman said of Time Warner. “They’re offering free fiberoptics on Main Street for businesses.”

Anadio said the city later learned Frontier could have made those services available, but the city went with the Time Warner proposal.

She said the city is also doing some additional maintenance and acquiring hardware in connection with an upgrade to Internet and phone services. She said if the city had gone with the Frontier contract, the city would have had to hire a new Internet technician, whose salary may have exceeded the $15,840 in Frontier savings Rulison referenced.

City sites for Time Warner’s services will include: City Hall and the fire station on Frontage Road, the Department of Public Works on Washburn Street, and the Gloversville Transit Authority on West Fulton Street.

“It was a long process,” Anadio said of the negotiation. “It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m trying to really move forward. I’m trying to save money for Gloversville.”

Michael Anich can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.