Committee still discussing JCTV’s future

Calvary Lutheran High School student Tefilo Puerto, works closely with Art Gerhard, chief operator of JCTV, during production of “Meet the Red Cross” on Jan. 10, 2013, at the Jefferson City studio.

Calvary Lutheran High School student Tefilo Puerto, works closely with Art Gerhard, chief operator of JCTV, during production of “Meet the Red Cross” on Jan. 10, 2013, at the Jefferson City studio. Photo by Julie Smith.

One week after the city opted not to terminate its contract with JCTV, council members are continuing discussions on what the future may hold for the station.

At the City Council meeting last week, a resolution to notify Lincoln University of the city’s intent to terminate the contract for JCTV was defeated by a vote of 6-4. The council then approved a bill to amend the agreement with Lincoln to reflect an earlier cut in funding to the station.

In September, the council approved $110,000 in funding for JCTV — a $55,000 cut to its normal budget. That was meant to keep the station operating through June 2013 and enable Lincoln University to discuss whether it will fund the station at some level before the university’s fiscal year starts July 1.

At the Council Committee on Administration meeting Wednesday, City Attorney Drew Hilpert said Lincoln is willing to agree to the contract amendment reflecting the lowered amount of funding. Committee members then discussed what would be next for the station, considering the city is anticipating another rough budget process for next year.

“The question is what is the highest priority and the best use of the money,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner. “There’s been a lot of talk through the years, but little action.”

City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus said the franchise fees the city receives have been steadily declining. Interim Finance Director Bill Betts said the city received $394,000 in franchise fees in 2009 and, for this fiscal year, the city is projecting only $325,000 from franchise fees.

Fifth Ward Councilman Larry Henry said the city needs to know whether JCTV will be a priority from Lincoln before making any decisions in the next budget process.

Connie Hamacher, interim president at Lincoln University, said the university and the city need to have clear communication about what should be the focus of the station. She said she would like to see the station do more city-focused coverage.

“I think we do need to look at the focus of JCTV and how we can use it more appropriately,” Hamacher said.

Station manager Gloria Enloe said the station would like to do more with city events and meetings, but they only have three full-time employees and, due to the funding cut, there isn’t enough money to cover the salaries for all three.

“We think the city should use the station more than they do,” Enloe said. “We would welcome more input from the city.”

Committee members opted to continue discussions once the new council is sworn in next month. But Carrie Carroll, 4th Ward councilwoman and committee chairwoman, said she does see momentum beginning in station fundraising and involvement.

Hamacher said the station is reaching out to other entities like Jefferson City High School to work together on new projects.

“I think things are happening,” Hamacher said. “JCTV has to have time.”

Franchise fees

A five-year view of franchise fees received by Jefferson City.

2009 $394,000

2010 $369,000

2011 $349,000

2012 $339,000

2013 $325,000*

*Projection

Accompanying photo: JCTV production (file photo)

Online:

http://www.jctvaccess.com/

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