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Wausau committee approves plan for increased public access channel usage


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Wausau's public access channels could see more use under a measure approved yesterday.

The city's finance committee voted unanimously for a proposal from the two men who currently maintain the system. The move would provide 15-thousand dollars for one year to help pay for the programming time to set up the station. Mayor Jim Tipple says the move will reopen the channel to the public as intended. “We're trying to make it self-sustaining, we're trying to increase the programming.”

The public access channel has been effectively on standby since 2010 when the city took funding from the annual franchise fees paid to them by Charter Cable and put them in the general fund to meet budget shortfalls.

The new system would set up 15 hours a week for workers to reschedule events, maintain the system, and work towards internet streaming of events. People who wish to use the programming at the station could help pay for the channel through fees.

The new program would keep the video studios at city hall off the air for now, and rely on independent production.

The measure will head to next month's City Council meeting.