AUBURN — The city’s plan to take over daily management of Lewiston-Auburn’s cable access station, Great Falls TV, will wait while Twin Cities staff work out a new interlocal agreement.

“Things are in motion now to give this a more formal structure,” Phil Nadeau, Lewiston’s deputy city administrator, said. “We’ll all have to see what this looks like — me included. We don’t have any idea about where it will go right now, but we are on our way.”

Nadeau said the franchise agreement for the local access station expired years ago. Great Falls TV has continued to operate according to the terms of the old agreement, which funds the three community information channels with franchise fees paid by local cable television subscribers.

Nadeau and Denis D’Auteuil, Auburn’s acting assistant city manager, met with members of the Lewiston-Auburn Cable TV Advisory Committee. That group oversees the two-person local access operation.

He said he and Auburn officials would begin negotiating a new agreement for the Lewiston and Auburn city councils to approve. He said he expected a draft could be ready in August.

“We are at a point now where this needs to get done so we can get rid of some of the uncertainties,” Nadeau said. “In the end, we’ll have a project that can be approved by both city councils.”


Great Falls TV is housed at Auburn’s Central Maine Community College campus. It provides programming for three channels on Time Warner Cable: local government programming on Channel 7, community programming on Channel 11 and educational programming on Channel 22. The station currently uses a “PEG” model — equal shares of public access, educational and government programming.

A live feed of the Channel 11 programming and an archive of previously aired shows is available for viewing on demand at the station’s website, The biggest share of the station’s content is government meetings from Auburn, Lewiston and Lisbon.

Subscribers to Time Warner Cable pay a 2.5 percent franchise fee to the cities. Of that, 40 percent is devoted to Great Falls TV operations.

Nadeau said Monday that the current franchise agreement between the cities and Time Warner expired in 2011 or 2012.

“The contract that was in place is no longer in effect, but Time Warner is honoring the provisions that speak to how many channels we have, how much of a franchise fee is collected and ultimately returned to Lewiston and Auburn.”

Auburn Manager Howard Kroll last week unveiled his proposal to bring the organization under Auburn Hall’s roof, increasing government-oriented content in Auburn. In Lewiston, the city would continue to have City Council meetings covered but not much more.


In exchange, Lewiston’s funding of the operation would go from $67,000 per year to $25,000.

At Monday’s Lewiston-Auburn Cable TV Advisory Committee meeting, Chairman Ed Desgrosseilliers said he’s not opposed to more involvement from Auburn. He’s worried about increasing government-related programming at the expense of education and public access shows.

“It’s the removal of the ‘P’ and the ‘E’ from the ‘G’ is what the city manager proposed and that’s what I found offensive,” Desgrosseilliers said. “As a cable TV subscriber, I do not want to see my funds go to a G-alone channel. If you just want the G, it should be tax supported.”

Nadeau said that’s not settled, either.

“I have no idea how my council would even react to this,” Nadeau said. “We will know much more in the weeks to come.”

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