Charter Communications will pay the county $286,000 to settle legal action that arose when a county audit showed the cable provider had come up short in its payment of franchise fees over the past five years.
The settlement is not likely to affect Charter’s customers, according to Assistant Auditor-Controller Jim Erb, who was involved in both the audit and negotiations with Charter.
Erb told The Tribune that his audit turned up people who lived in unincorporated areas on the edge of cities but who had in-city ZIP codes. Because of the ZIPcodes, fees went erroneously to the cities rather than the county, which governs areas outside city limits.
There were roughly 900 such addresses, mostly just outside the Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo city limits, Erb said.
County Counsel Warren Jensen announced the settlement Tuesday, after a closed-door meeting of the county Board of Supervisors.
“The settlement agreement expressly provides that ‘nothing (in the agreement) shall be deemed to be an admission of liability by Charter,’ ” Jensen said.