Council to look at JCTV contract

Next month, the City Council will look at a proposed amendment to the JCTV contract that would reflect the lower funding level this year.

At the Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, city attorney Drew Hilpert said the council either needs to amend the existing contract with the station or issue a notice of termination by the end of March to avoid going over the budgeted amount for the station.

In September, the council approved $110,000 in funding for JCTV, representing a $55,000 cut to its normal

operating budget. That money was meant to keep the station operating through June 2013 to enable Lincoln University to discuss whether it will fund the station at some level before the university’s fiscal year starts July 1.

In October, City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus told members of the JCTV steering committee that the City Council would need to see a financial show of support for the station from the community and Lincoln University or the city would terminate its contract with JCTV in March.

As of early February, the station had raised about $3,300.

Hilpert said the current contract stipulates the $165,000 amount for the station, meaning without the amendment, the city would be contractually obligated to pay the other $55,000.

“We need to do something by the end of March,” Hilpert said.

Station manager Gloria Enloe said her understanding is that Lincoln University intends to find the money to keep the station operating for the full year.

At the last City Council meeting, Lincoln University interim president Connie Hamacher said the university is committed to JCTV and was searching for funds to make up the shortfall.

The committee approved a recommendation to amend the current contract to reflect the $110,000 in funding as well as to shorten the notice of termination from 90 days to 30 days. Fifth Ward Councilman Ralph Bray voted against the motion, saying he was unsure the motion needed to be passed at this time and he wanted input from 5th Ward Councilman Larry Henry, who serves as council liaison to the JCTV steering committee.

The proposed amendment will be placed on the next council agenda, though Hilpert specified the council still had the option to pull or change the bill before it is approved at the end of March.

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