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BOARD HIKES FUNDING FOR LOCAL-ACCESS TV

The local-access cable TV channel will receive $4,500 for 1998-99 in the village budget, an increase of $500, Vice Chairman Thomas Bolling announced at Wednesday night's meeting of the Cable Television Advisory Board.

The funds include $1,500 for equipment, $2,500 for supplies and $500 for contractual expenses.

But a question arose about the source of the funding.

A proposed contract between the village and Time Warner Co. would impose a local-access charge of 10 cents a month for each subscriber.

Village Trustee Michael Sullivan in a letter to the board said it is not yet clear whether the village would keep the local-access funds or pass them on to the local-access channel.

Time Warner also is in contract negotiations with the five other municipalities in the system. Glen Chalmers of Time Warner gave no indication of what the other municipalities will do about the local-access fee.

When the contract is signed, Time Warner will give a $3,000 capital grant to the local-access group for equipment, Chalmers said.

The municipalities will form a group to be responsible for the local-access channel, with the help of Stephen Shaye of the state Department of Public Service, according to Town of Pomfret Councilwoman Patricia Christina.

The Village Board must set a date for a public hearing before it can act on the new 10-year agreement with Time Warner. Both are expected to take place in April.

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