Good news for PACB -- the check's in the mail.
The village of Baldwinsville and towns of Lysander and Van Buren have all received quarterly franchise fees from Time Warner Cable, a percentage of which is designated to the Baldwinsville public access channel (PACB -- Channel 98). For the month of June, Baldwinsville, Lysander and Van Buren received payments of $732.34, $2,015.38 and $1,253.25 respectively for PACB. According to Andy Dryden, chairman of the PACB board, it's not a minute too soon.
"We haven't had any money for about a year," Dryden said. "It's been a long time coming,"
Dryden said the PACB board plans to use the funds as a down payment on a new home. PACB is currently housed in the basement of the Baldwinsville Public Library, an arrangement that was intended to be temporary but has lasted for years. The municipal agreement, negotiated between the village, two towns and Time Warner, is a 10-year contract, which means the station will have a steady flow of income for the next decade, enabling the PACB board to secure a permanent location.
"We're buying a new home for PACB," Dryden said.
Another part of the municipal contract stipulated that Time Warner donate used equipment to the station. So far, the station has several digital cameras with a digital control center but still uses some VHS tapes. The board plans to use some of the franchise fee funds to purchase updated equipment in order for the station to become completely digitalized. The updated system will allow volunteer camera operators to download videos via the Internet rather than traveling to the PACB station when they are finished filming an event, game or meeting.
"The new system is more convenient for volunteers," Dryden said. "We have to look at getting a new crew of volunteers."