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TV 18 funding causes confusion

POSTED: July 15, 2014 12:15 a.m.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with the city of Gainesville last week to continue splitting the cost of operating the local government channel, TV 18.

But a review of the budget shows that Gainesville appears to be on the hook for the full cost of a new production van.

Gainesville has budgeted $146,000 in the current fiscal year to cover its portion of the channel’s operational expenses.

“This funding includes a $100,000 one-time capital purchase, which is split 50-50 with the county, $50,000 each,” said Matt Hamby, Gainesville budget and purchasing manager. “It appears that the county has approved $96,000, which excludes their 50 percent share of the capital purchase.”

Indeed, the county appears taken aback by the funding allocated for the production van.

“During the budget process and ultimate adoption, the county was not aware of a proposed capital request,” Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton said. “Only the operational cost associated with TV 18 was approved.”

TV 18, which airs some government meetings, provides emergency and community updates, and broadcasts public service videos, recently moved to channel 180 for Charter customers.

It is unclear if the county will decide to cough up the money for the production van. If not, it appears the city will cut its budget.

“If the capital purchase is not approved by the county, then the city will also remove its portion of the capital purchase, resulting in a rebalanced 50-50 split of $96,000,” Hamby said.


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