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Adelphia Cable will provide service and technical improvements to its Wheatfield subscribers and has reached tentative agreement with the town for a new long term franchise contract.

Town Supervisor Timothy E. Demler announced the agreement Tuesday with Vincent Laurendi Jr., general manager of Adelphia's Niagara Division.

Adelphia's Wheatfield cable service has been transferred to Adelphia's Niagara Division based at Niagara Falls from the division based in West Seneca, and will now carry locally originated programming from Niagara Falls, including Niagara-Wheatfield High School football games, he said.

Replacement of cable lines to Adelphia's 4,500 Wheatfield customers has already begun and will be completed by year's end, Laurendi said.

The changeover should enhance quality and reduce interruption of service, he said.

"I think the residents of Wheatfield should be very happy with the quality of the picture, the number of channels and the service. Cable TV is susceptible to every act of Mother Nature. There are going to be interruptions in service," he said.

Customers will probably be without cable service most of the day of the switch-over, and will be notified in advance and credited for the loss of service, he added.

"We need to replace some underground lines. We will totally restore any disruption (of property)," he said.

"After several months of negotiations, my administration . . . has received the type of service from Adelphia that our residents deserve. We have moved our upgrade for cable service from 1999 to this year," Demler said.

Demler said the town had rejected a long-term franchise agreement with Adelphia until the conditions were met.

Arthur Aramini, chairman of the town Cable Committee, said he anticipates a 10-year agreement will be signed later this year. The current franchise agreement is being extended on a month-to-month basis, he said.

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