It almost closed WNC Community Media Center/URTV, but as of July 7, Buncombe County finally delivered a portion ($48 thousand) of the money due since third quarter 2009.
But wait, Buncombe County manager said that “we get it [the money], we get it distributed” (PEG monies to WNCCMC, [as] reported by Mountain Xpress, June 3). Reported June 3 that county records indicate payments to WNCCMC in August (no payment), December (no payment), and “another on the way” (arrived June 11). Reported June 15 that now, “Buncombe owes URTV $48K in PEG funds payment made next week” (snail mail delivered it 7/7).
At the June 15 meeting, a commissioner admitted that the $1.5 million of ‘franchise fees’ (separate from PEG) collected from Charter is in a ‘black hole!”
BC gets that much money because they can certify they offer public access channels – they’d get less if URTV went away! In most cities, this money collected is used in the community to support public access channels (which can’t operate on PEG monies alone).
WNCCMC is asking for $200 thousand (13.3 percent) of [the funds] to provide stable funding going forward. Is anyone investigating the Buncombe County “black hole.”
But wait, it was reported June 3 that “URTV representatives have not answered Mountain Xpress’ calls for comments.”
That’s true, because they’ve previously sat down with MXpress for many hours to explain/answer all questions about funding and county payments way past due! They’re kind of pissed off (bridges burned?) that the “reporting” can’t get the facts right or checked!
Come on MXpress: we deserve better!
Lets see some “fresh” reporters take a truly in-depth look at public-access, PEG and franchise fees collected and distributed by Buncombe county or Raleigh, WNCCMC, etc.
Lets really inform the readers!
— Charles Magoffin