Cable commissioner gives her thoughts on station options

I am responding to the recent My Way article, “Common sense says park is better choice for OCTV home.” Generally, I have pretty thick skin and can kindly thank someone for their opinion, even if it differs from mine. But to say a decision lacked common sense and cite reasons that don’t capture the entire picture has me feeling a bit defensive.

Anyone following the OCTV saga would know that we are currently in a lease and there is no hurry to make a decision on moving. We have been presented several very good options along the way and are currently evaluating two, as referenced in your opinion column, the Village offices and Seymour Lake Park. The Cable Commission formed a committee to investigate the two locations, which the column states lacks ‘common sense.’

I would like to fill in the entire picture to show that, rather than lacking common sense, we are resisting grabbing the new and shiny bauble being dangled in front of us. Firstly, we have $300,000 in our building fund rather than $450,000. While we have not nailed down a cost per square foot on a new facility, quick math tells me that we are $150,000 to $200,000 short of the funds needed to build at Seymour Lake Park.

Another issue looming out there is future funding. Cable TV funding comes from a (fee) on your cable bill. It seems only a matter of time that the cable providers put enough pressure on the legislature to end the (fee). We have also been seeing declining revenues over the past two years due to changing viewership habits – more people are streaming and cutting the cord to their cable boxes. The implications of these cuts over 5 and 10 years needs to be looked at. I am probably not alone wondering if there will be a cable tv station in 10 years.

A third good reason to think twice about a new building is we would be building it on someone else’s land. I don’t have a legal opinion on this but I’m pretty sure that this effectively is handing over the building to the Township. Since the bulk of our funding comes from the Township, I don’t know that it is an issue but it’s something to consider. And, for the record, any potential lease with the Village would contain a clause to recoup any investment made if the property was sold.

So while I appreciate the writer of the editorial article’s opinion (and generally agree with many of them in other cases), this is not as easy a decision as it would seem on the surface. Both potential locations have desirable attributes. Both locations have undesirable points. Rather than lacking in common sense, I feel this is a show of fiscal restraint by the Board to pause and take an objective look at all the facts. Just because the Cable Commission has some money in the bank doesn’t mean we have to spend it – a rare opinion in government.

Lori Fisher

Addison Township Treasurer and

OCTV Board of Commissioner

 

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