Open Letter Funding Wallingford TV

Wallingford Public Access Association, Inc.
501© 3 Fed # 06-1378847
28 So. Orchard St.
Wallingford, CT  06492

                                                                              March 16, 2021

William W. Dickinson, Jr., Mayor
Town of Wallingford
45 So Main St
Wallingford CT 06492

Nonprofit Contribution Request From WPAA-TV Regarding Wallingford Town Budget 2021-22

Per your affirmation of the process for nonprofits inclusion in the town’s budget as follows (correspondence 3.1.21): The procedure is for a nonprofit to request a contribution from the Town to be included in the budget. The reason for the request should be explained.

Herein is the 2021-22 Wallingford Town Budget request: $20,000 and approval request for municipal rate #8 for WPAA-TV electric utility costs.

Explained:

  1. Keeping the doors open: Incremental transition to paid staff (15 hrs. week) Annual cost of p-t admin: $12,675
  2. Annual Admin of Ed & Government Access TV on WPAA-TV as directed in PURA Docket 99-10-05 (1999):  $9,100
  3. Annual Cable Subscriber Fee losses to neighboring communities supported by town leadership: Approx. $20,000
  4. Loss of PEGPETIA Funding  award due spit allocation to WGTV (PURA Docket #19-11-01 4.2020):  $44,154
  5. Eligibility budget gap for certain foundation grants (990 Income minimum $100,000: $8,000
  6. Not PPP (Payroll Protection) eligible | volunteer workforce and p-t worked through-out pandemic
  7. Municipal Electric Rate change from 3 to 8 decreases annual facility operations costs (approx. $275)
  8. Opportunity cost-benefits losses due to non-integrated PEG (Public, Ed & Government Access TV |Community TV)

WPAA Financials: On the website at this link Deep Dive Documents
10 years of public records including 990, Budgets and PURA Reports on all aspects of operations

Alternative consideration: Contract for Government (and Education) Video Production Services
Pending staff, tech and utilization changes provide an opportunity to revisit the suggestion (2000, 2008, 2009) to contract WGTV (and WPS-TV) administration to WPAA-TV.  Integrated service models—consolidating PEG administration, facility and equipment resources—have proven to be cost-effective in numerous communities in CT and across the nation. Contracting Government (and Education) TV could provide cost savings to the tax-payer that may increase over time while providing comparable and potentially enhanced services.

Knowing that your budget deadline is April 1st, please reply no later than the end of day Friday March 19th, so we can provide anything additional you might need from us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Sincerely,

                                               Herb Jackson                                                                                                                                  President Wallingford Public Access Association, Inc.

Cc:  Town Council Chairman, Superintendent, PUC Director, WPAA-TV Board of Directors

This reply ignores the offer to bring channels together to save taxpayer money. Has it been in the public interest to taxpayers to have the most expensive town TV operations in CT since 1993.

 

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