Second public hearing on Suddenlink scheduled for Tuesday

The Enid Suddenlink office is in Westgate Plaza. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — Part two of a public hearing regarding Suddenlink Communications is scheduled for Tuesday night's Enid City Commission meeting.

Suddenlink's contract with the city is up for renewal this summer. To help decide whether or not to renew with the cable provider, the commission is gathering public comment, listening to company representatives, as well as convening with its own legal counsel on the matter.

Tuesday's hearing is a continuation from Dec. 3, where nearly a dozen Enid residents aired complaints over customer service, cost and billing, and reliability. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in commission chambers in the city administration building. 401 W. Garriott.

Talk grew tense toward two Suddenlink representatives present at the meeting, with Ward 4 commissioner Jonathan Waddell at one point telling the pair, "it feels like you've got us over a barrel."

At the conclusion of this second session, attorney Bryce Kennedy, hired by the city to assist with Suddenlink negotiations, will "provide an analysis of the Cable Operator's performance, based upon the FCC customer service standards and the City's franchise requirements," according to the meeting agenda.

Representatives from Suddenlink again will be in attendance, and members of the public are welcome to sign up to speak before the commission.

A big step in the Kaw Lake water pipeline project is awaiting approval from commissioners.

Garney Construction, discussed for months as the best option for construction manager for the pipeline, finally could be getting involved in the project, at an initial cost of $300,000 from the city.

For that money, Garney will take an in-depth look at blueprints for the project and estimate what it would cost to carry it out. The figure provided is a maximum the city could be asked to pay, and any expenses beyond that, Garney will be required to cover itself.

If the city agrees with the dollar figure and everything seems in order, Garney will be in charge of the pipeline's construction going forward.

Another notable price tag on the agenda is nearly $700,000 for replacement of the Boggy Creek bridge in the 400 block of East Randolph.

During ODOT's latest round of bridge inspections, the department identified the bridge as a "critical finding" due to structural issues. If commissioners give the go ahead, local contractor Luckinbill will take on the job at a cost of $699,367.

Prior to the regular commission meeting, commissioners will meet in the downstairs conference room for a study session at 5 p.m.

Up for discussion during the study session is revised tobacco and vapor ordinance, and upcoming changes to the city of Enid website.

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Willetts is education and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
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