County’s NC Telecom deal to be amended |

County’s NC Telecom deal to be amended

Paul Shockley

Moffat County commissioners, staff and representatives of NC Telecom Monday agreed to negotiate an amendment to a $1.2 million 1999 contract concerning payments due to the company at the end of the 10-year deal.

Commissioners also delivered a blunt message to the Meeker-based telecommunications firm: Get something connected by Dec. 20.

Darryl Steele, commissioner-elect who’ll be sworn in Jan. 14, said he expects all sides to pin a second amendment to the $1.2 million contract soon.

Under the 1999 deal, NC Telecom delivered one high-speed DS3 connection in November 2001 to the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

The services were due to be operational April 1 of that same year, according to the contract.

A second DS3 connection for use “only by county offices, libraries, municipalities, hospitals and public schools,” was also to be delivered April 1, 2001, according to

the contract.

This portion of the deal, which set aside some $700,000 in pre-paid services, has not been fulfilled.

None of the entities listed in the deal have requested services off the 1999 contract. Many weren’t aware of its details until last week.

Moffat retains some $466,666 of the pre-paid funds in an interest-bearing escrow account.

An amendment dated Nov. 31, 2001 states that “any remaining escrowed funds shall be due to NCT no later than Dec. 31, 2011,” if the company successfully delivers service to the Moffat County Public Safety Center through the 10-year life of the 1999 deal.

Steele, among critics wondering how Moffat County could spend the $700,000 in pre-paid services over 10 years, said Monday’s verbal agreement addresses many of his worries.

“It is my understanding that the entire pre-paid account could (now) be used no matter how long it takes to do that,” Steele said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 to at

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