The city's cable-access TV station is getting some serious attention these days.
The City Council voted Tuesday night to use $30,000 set aside in the 2009 budget for a part-time employee that was never hired to help the cable-access channel move into a larger office in the City Hall Annex. (CAR25 is now in the Annex's basement.) The move is already underway.
The council unanimously passed the spending item, which had already been approved by committee, with no discussion.
But another $40,000 pegged for CAR25 led to heated discussion between Alderman Jeff Coe and Mayor John Dickert. The city's 2010 budget - approved by the City Council - designates the money for "professional services," which would likely be used to create programming for the channel.
Coe, who sits on the Cable Commission that oversees CAR25, raised a question Tuesday night about the $40,000. It led to a confusing, and heated, exchange that resulted in a vote against sending the item to the mayor's office and then for sending it to the City Council's Committee of the Whole and the Cable Commission for further review.
Dickert argued during the meeting it was a non-issue because the council and Cable Commission had already approved the money, and any contract to spend the $40K would need another round of council approval.
But the council disagreed - or at least wanted a closer look - and now the money is up for further scrutiny.
And, if all this wasn't enough, more money is tucked away in the city budget to help CAR25 broadcast on AT&T U-Verse cable service and to stream online. Those spending proposals should come up later this year, once CAR25 gets into its new offices.