Published at PO Box 96 124 W. St. Clair Romeo, MI 48065. Phone: (586)752-3524 Fax: (586)752-0548
Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 3 PM EST
|Home||Sports||Community||What's Happening||Classifieds||News Summary|
|DOROTHY MOLLON||EDWIN WERDERMAN|
|JAMES CRANNY||MARJORIE RENNY|
|PAUL UERLING||WITOLD BORONSKI|
|Browse Full Text...|
Friday, 2 pm
Inserts Friday, Noon
Editorial Monday, Noon
Service Directory Display Monday, 2 pm
Service Directory Liners Monday, 3 pm
Classified Liners All Holiday Deadlines are One Full Workday Earlier
You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 10/24/12
Bruce officials agree to
revised CMC contract
by CHRIS GRAYBruce Township will continue to retain the services of Washington Township for its local cable programming.
Observer Staff Writer
On Oct. 17, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved of a revised three-year contract with Washington Township to receive the services of the latter's Community Media Center (CMC).
The Village of Romeo and Bruce Township have contracts with Washington Township for local cable services, paying 95 percent of their franchise fees for the services. In turn, Washington contracts with Mi Community Media (MiCM) to run the CMC.
Officials from the three communities met to revise their contracts, which expire in June. Both the old and new contracts state if the CMC raises enough revenue to exceed pre-determined amounts, the excess will be proportionately split amongst the communities.
The new contract proposes increases in the amounts of revenue to $33,000, $44,000 and $48,000 for the next three years.
"If they're going to continue to grow, they have a right to make revenue," Supervisor Jim Tignanelli said. "We don't want to stop them from growing."
Treasurer Deborah Obrecht asked if the township's contribution would decrease if the programming were reduced. She also wanted to consider lowering the franchise fees the township pays to Washington from 95 percent.
"The whole idea is this concept was to get away from having the fixed, required staff and go to volunteers to get the same programming at a reduced cost," she said.
Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary said a provision in the contract states if the communities start to lose franchise fee dollars outside of their control, the CMC would be proportionately reduced.
"We're trying to hedge against something weird happening to the franchise fees," he said.
He said he would be willing to reduce the payment to 90 percent, but would no longer provide Bruce Township with any excess revenues.
"We already subsidize your library, we subsidize your Park and Rec, we subsidize your senior center, we give you a great deal handling water and sewer on your behalf, " he said. "At some point, you're either our friend and partner or let's just go separate ways."
He noted that Washington Township spent money on equipment for the Romeo Community Schools video curriculum as well as for developing the studio.
"We invested that money at no cost to you so that you in the future can benefit from those revenue generation opportunities," O'Leary said.
The Village of Romeo is considering placing incentives in its contract for the CMC to reach the set amounts that would provide money back to the CMC. O'Leary said Washington was open to the idea, but Bruce didn't have to include that in their contract.
The village is also requesting audits before it approves of the contract, though portions of the new contract pertaining to audits were removed.
Tignanelli agreed with the removal, saying the township doesn't require any of its other contracted businesses to submit audits.
"This was something where we wanted to know about revenues and expenditures," he said.
O'Leary said the CMC will submit documentation to the IRS that the communities can review regarding its revenue.
He said these are due Nov. 15 per Washington's contract with MiCM.
"You get filings as a not-for profit, which they file with the state," he said. "Who they hire, what they pay them, how they spend their money is completely their business, they're a private entity."
The communities also removed obsolete portions from the contract, such as those addressing the former studio on Morton Street or the TC3.
Bruce officials said they were impressed by how the studio and CMC developed to encompass the three communities as well as a school district.
"This is a pretty significant endeavor in two years," Tignanelli said.
During the contract talks, resident Trese Servitto-Smith questioned the appropriateness of MiCM employees wearing shirts that promoted candidates while at events.
Diane Hellner, one of the employees in question, said she was at the event in question but was there on her own time.
Bob Solano, a MiCM board member, said those types of concerns would need to be addressed to Washington Township, but said there is a policy that asks employees to not promote candidates while working.