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LACKAWANNA COUNCIL SETS SESSION ON CABLE-TV PACT

While there appears to be considerable confusion among some Lackawanna residents and officials concerning the status of the city's cable television contract, others involved say the negotiations are continuing normally.

The City Council has called a work session for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the situation and question Frank Bybel, assistant city attorney and chairman of the city's Cablevision Committee.

Questions have been raised over whether the city even has a valid contract with Adelphia Cable Communications.

It does, according to the state Commission on Cable Television.

According to a letter to the city from Carol J. Mc-Tague, municipal consultant for the commission, the franchise expired last June 15 and the commission granted temporary operating authority, or a contract extension, until this June 7.

The commission is authorized by law to grant extensions and cable companies cannot continue to operate without a franchise agreement, she said.

Thomas Haywood, general manager of operations for Adelphia, said the situation is not out of the ordinary.

He said it is not unusual for a contract to be extended one or more times while negotiations continue with a municipality.

The Lackawanna negotiations are similar to those being conducted with the five or six other municipalities whose contracts are up for renewal, Haywood said.

Adelphia serves 23 municipalities in Western New York.

Adelphia has made a contract offer to the city and is awaiting a counterproposal, Haywood said.

"These are complicated agreements and it takes time to work them out," he said.

"The Lackawanna situation is not unusual."

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