This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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Do you have COX Cable?
If you have COX Cable service, in June you’re going to begin seeing a 45 cent “PEG” charge on your monthly bill. The fee is collected on behalf of the city to cover costs associated with franchise required PEG (Public, Educational and Governmental) access programming.
(Channel 24 is the government access channel, channel 18 is the educational access channel and channel 25 is the regional public access channel, in case you didn’t know.)
COX has been paying the required fees to the city, but has not been billing customers for it.
“COX recently did an audit and we realized the PEG access fee had dropped off customer bills,” said Mike Leone, director of public affairs for COX in Northern Virginia.
The PEG fee is included in the franchise agreement for capital expenditures for the upkeep of the city’s cable broadcast facilities.
The city received $14,711 from PEG fees in fiscal year 2011 and is on track to receive a similar amount in fiscal year 2011, according to the city manager’s report from May 17.
Out of curiosity, I looked back at my own COX bill from May to see if it said anything about this, and sure enough it was listed in the “News from Cox” portion of the bill.
Essentially, COX is just a mechanism for collecting the fees- they don’t get the money, they just pass it along to the city.
Customers won’t be charged any retroactive fees for the money not collected, Leone said.
Note: If you live in Stafford, your fee is 20 cents, instead of 45 cents.
Most municipalities in Virginia (90 percent) have this fee and they range from 20 to 50 cents, based on the amount of support the local franchise authority believes it will cost to run the facilities, Leone said.