By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

A squabble between the city of Sandy Springs and cable provider Comcast Corp. is delaying a project to build sidewalks on the north side of Windsor Parkway, from Roswell to High Point roads.

Comcast owns aerial cable that is attached to Georgia Power Co. utility poles located in the city’s right of way along Windsor Parkway. For the city to construct sidewalks, those cables must be relocated.

“We really need those moved so we can continue with this project,” Dist. 4 Councilwoman Ashley Jenkins said.

“The people on Windsor Parkway are struggling,” Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos said.

But there is a disagreement between the city and Comcast about who should pay approximately $25,000 needed to relocate the utility. The issue could end up in court.

Andy Macke, vice president of government and community affairs for Comcast, visited Sandy Springs City Council July 13 to discuss the matter.

Macke said that the city paid Georgia Power around $300,000 to relocate its utility poles but refused to do the same for Comcast. “We are looking for equal treatment.”

Macke said it was the standard, during sidewalk and streetscape projects, for the city to pay for utility relocation. He said an amendment to the franchise agreement between Comcast and the city was probably necessary.

“We differ from his understanding,” City Attorney Wendell Willard said. He said the city has a different franchise agreement with Georgia Power and doesn’t have to treat all utility companies the same. “I’m comfortable we are on the solid ground.”

Macke said Comcast may pay the $25,000 if the issue was “resolved in good faith” and the franchise agreement was revised so the company wouldn’t pay on future projects.

“I think this is a very, very complicated issue,” Galambos said at the meeting. “This is not something we can decide tonight.”

The council will consider the issue Aug. 3.