The Orangetown Town Council approved a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting that could see the town increase it’s ability to broadcast meetings or other government or educational programming.
The resolution, which passed unanimously, says the town can use less than $100,000 in Public, Educational and Government (PEG) funds to develop the town’s capacity to broadcast public meetings and other pre-recorded programming, continent on approval of contracts with equipment sales and installation vendors.
Before the vote, Councilman Tom Morr wanted to just double check one final time about what could be done with the funds.
“The money can’t be used for general fund, there’s no operating expenses associated with this that we could offset,” he asked.
Supervisor Andy Stewart said the money can only go to a narrow window of things.
“The contracts are pretty clear about some things, one of which is that it’s essentially for broadcast capacity, for equipment and it’s designated strings attached with money, so we’re not going to be able to pay for a sidewalk or a police car with it,” Stewart said.
Orangetown currently has a 24-hour channel available on Cablevision and FIOS, but only uses them for town board meetings. Michael Mandel of Pearl River spoke out in favor of the resolution during the public comments portion of the meeting, specifically to improve those live broadcasts.
“Over the years we’ve had picture with no sound, sound with no picture, fuzzy picture, no picture at all,” Stewart said. “It’s important in these times for the public, and I know quite a few people in the public who do watch that cannot make it to the meetings, especially our senior residents.”
The town currently has $240,000 in PEG funds, a number which could increase to $300,000 soon. One possibility for the funds, which was discussed a prior town council meeting, was building Tappan Zee High School a television production room. Councilman Denis Troy said at the meeting the production room would cost $170,000.
Videos from the Tappan Zee television production room, other schools, local groups or where ever the funds end up going, could be submitted to the town to run on the increased broadcast capabilities.
To read more about other possibilities for the funds, .