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Council talks about TV

Management of local station is on the agenda

Posted: July 12, 2009 10:05 p.m.
Updated: July 13, 2009 8:30 a.m.
In its last meeting before the summer recess, the Santa Clarita City Council is poised Tuesday to approve a five-year agreement for a joint-powers authority to oversee the local TV station.

The JPA for Channel 20 would include representatives from SCVTV, KHTS 1220-AM, College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The goal is to make the public-access channel a more streamlined product, city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said.

An advisory board would be set up, she said, to establish the policies and procedures for local broadcasts.

"That's something that's missing now," she said.

City officials have been focused on turning around the local channel over the last two years.

Under a state law that went into effect in 2007, Time Warner Cable no longer has to provide production support for Channel 20 - also known as the Public, Educational and Governmental Access channel. Instead, it's required only to provide the facilities.

The City Council awarded a contract to SCVTV last December to operate the channel.

Moving forward, the goal is to have a channel that is primarily education- and government-focused, Ortiz said.

"But the intent is to continue the public-access component," she said. "The most important thing is that this continues to be community television."

The anticipated annual cost for Channel 20 personnel is $261,800, according to information provided by SCVTV.

The council will be asked Tuesday to approve a $50,000 contribution to the JPA as the city's share of the 2009-10 operating costs.

In other business, the council will be asked Tuesday to give the city manager's office the go-ahead to award contracts for several road projects funded by $5.2 million in federal stimulus money.

The city secured the funds after President Barack Obama signed off last February on the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The project list includes about $3 million in road resurfacing; $305,000 for a median at Newhall Avenue and Sierra Highway; $1.2 million for a turning lane at Whites and Soledad Canyon roads; and $550,101 for work on local bridges.

The City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd.


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