LACONIA — The City Council this week entered into a one-year agreement with Lakes Region Public Access Television (LRPA-TV) that will provide residents and organizations within the city access to MetroCast cable television to produce and telecast pubic interest, cultural, educational and governmental programming.
In return the city will contribute $26,772.50 to LRPA-TV's operating budget, compared to the $20,000 the city budgeted for the station a year ago. The annual fees are based on the city's pro-rata share of the operating budget calculated as the number of its able television subscribers as a percentage of the total subscribers of LRPA-TV's member community subscriber base. There are 5,090 subscribers to MetroCast Cablevision in the city.
City Manger Scott Myers said that $20,000 for LRPA-TV is included in his proposed city budget for 2016-2017, but assured the council that funds were available to defray the balance of the annual fee.
City Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5), who serves on the Board of Directors of LRPA-TV, said that the station has trimmed its operating budget to approximately $100,000 and needs about $10,000 to bring it into balance. He said that Belknap County was paying for LRPA-TV to tape meetings of both the county commission and convention and several towns are paying the station for taping special meetings.
"We are hiring an office manager and developing a business plan," Hamel said. "We're moving forward."
Belmont, Gilford, Meredith and Northwood have also entered agreements with LRPA-TV.
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