The body responsible for overseeing a franchise agreement with Time Warner to provide cable service in North Tonawanda is calling for a state audit of fees the city receives from the media giant.
“There hasn’t been an audit in a long, long time,” Cable Television Advisory Board member Suzann Chank said.
Chank made the motion to pursue an audit at the board’s regular meeting Monday night. 
“The state is going to do it for free. Mark (Houghton) contacted a state agency that said they would do it for free, which is excellent,” she said. “But we want to know about the fees coming into North Tonawanda.”
Currently, those fees are thousands of dollars a year as part of an agreement that also includes high-speed Internet service.
Cable service used to be provided by Adelphia, the firm that filed for bankruptcy in 2002 amid internal troubles and was acquired by Time Warner in 2006. The agreement between the city and Time Warner Cable was signed with Adelphia five years ago and remains in effect until 2015.
Houghton, the board’s chairman, said the purpose of the audit is to make sure the company is paying all of what it owes under the current agreement, which specifies the city should get 5 percent of what the firm makes locally.
Another justification for the move, he said, is to check Time Warner’s bookkeeping since taking over the agreement.
‘We negotiated with Adelphia just before Adelphia left,” Houghton said. “They’re inherently bound to abide by the Adelphia contract until it’s over. We researched it — it’s actually a halfway decent contract ... some of them are down to 2 or 3 percent.”

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