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PANEL URGES CREATION OF BOARD TO MANAGE CABLE CHANNEL

Plans for funding and managing Time-Warner's local cable-access channel in northern Chautauqua County were discussed at a meeting Wednesday night in Pomfret Town Hall. Representatives of the system's six municipalities involved were in attendance as a "show of unity," Pomfret Town Councilwoman Patricia Christina said.

The representatives decided to return to their municipal governments to create a nonprofit corporation, a board of directors and seek out funding. They also decided to recommend including citizens on the board of directors, not just government officials.

Also, the representatives agreed informally that each community should contribute to the channel on the basis of the number of subscribers. Also, all communities would have access to the cable-access channel, regardless of the number of subscribers.

"This is an example of regionalism," Christina said.

Fredonia access coordinator Steve Yunghans suggested an annual budget of $34,200, which includes $15,000 to pay an access coordinator and $5,000 for an administrative assistant. A $41,600 wish list of equipment and production material also was suggested.

Previously Carol McTague, a consultant with the state Department of Public Service, which oversees cable television, suggested that the group request a one-time $15,000 donation from Time-Warner to help pay for equipment. The amount was based on 1 percent of gross revenues from the 4,100 subscribers in the system.

Each municipality would be responsible for deciding how to fund its portion of the operating budget, group members decided.

Other meeting participants included Fredonia Mayor Frank Pagano and Fredonia Trustee Stephen Keefe; also, Daniel Schrontz of Brocton-Portland Stan Zembryski of Stockton, Cassadaga Village Trustee Pamela Kaltenbach and members of the Fredonia Cable Access Advisory Board.

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