The city’s utility department faces some upcoming legal battles regarding its pole contact contracts with Time Warner Cable and Charter Cable.
The common council unanimously approved the hiring of attorney Anita Gallucci — at $270 an hour, plus expenses — to represent the city at a petition hearing with the state’s Pubic Service Commission during the council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5.
Gallucci is recognized statewide as an expert in utility matters and drafted the Time Warner and Charter contracts for the city in 2010, according to a memo from the city’s utility operations manager Dennis Bednarski.
Casey Lemke, a municipal electrical engineer, said that Time Warner and Charter filed the petition with the PSC because they were unhappy with the city’s standard pole connection fee and hope to pay a significantly reduced rate.
Lemke also said he thought the verdict on the hearing would have precedent-setting implications for surrounding municipalities and Co-op associations.
Gallucci is an attorney with the law firm Boardman, Suhr, Curry and Field, LLP.