PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission will be voting on paying franchising fees to Piqua City Schools at their next meeting Tuesday evening due to the dissolution of the Western Ohio TV Consortium (WOTVC).
The board of WOTVC approved dissolving WOTVC earlier this year, according to a proposed agreement with the Piqua Board of Education. Instead of WOTVC running Piqua channel 5, the agreement proposes that Piqua City Schools — specifically the high school — take over the operations and productions previously done by WOTVC. The franchise fees that the city previously paid to WOTVC will go to Piqua City Schools for the same purpose of funding the public access station.
In November, City Manager Gary Huff addressed the commission with concerns about the financial status of WOTVC, saying that if station did not raise enough funds or make some changes, they would have to halt productions.
WOTVC was a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization composed of the city of Piqua, Piqua City Schools, Edison State Community College, Upper Valley Career Center, and the Piqua Public Library. These five partners provided approximately 60 percent of the station’s funding.
WOTVC’s total budget was approximately $112,000, with their biggest contributor being the city of Piqua, from whom they received $60,000 a year. Their four other partners contributed approximately $3,000 each.
The remaining 40 percent of their budget came from sponsors in the community. The station needed to receive at least $40,000 from sponsors, but was only receiving between $23,000 and $28,000.
The new agreement with the school board will also be a cost-savings for the city, as the commission will be voting to approve an agreement to pay the school district $45,000 in franchising fees, which is less than they were paying WOTVC.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the commission will be voting on awarding a contract to Jess Howard Electric Company for the Precision Approach Indicator (PAPI) installation project at the Piqua Municipal Airport; entering into an agreement with Delta Airport Consultants, Inc. for the construction engineering services for the PAPI system; and increasing a purchase order to CDM Smith for additional design services for the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and upgrade project.
The commission is also expected to issue a resolution of appreciation for the public service of Elaine Barton, former human resources director at the city of Piqua, who spent 15 years working for the city.
The commission meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in commission chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Government Complex, located at 201 W. Water St.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336