City not ready to buy TV gear just yet

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City hasn’t decided yet what to do about money that’s available for television equipment.Columbia City Common Councilman Dan Weigold told the panel Tuesday night he was part of a three-person committee formed to discuss the possibility of a city-run cable television channel.The council heard a report Jan. 11 from Whitley County resident Erik Mollberg, who serves as the assistant manager for Access Fort Wayne with the Allen County Public Library.Mollberg told the board that the city, courtesy of its franchise agreement with Mediacom, has money available for equipment that could be used for operating a cable television channel.The channel, called a PEG (public, educational and government access) channel, could have a variety of uses, according to Mollberg, who told the board that money accrues every five years for the purchase of equipment. At $20,000 per five-year period, Mollberg said Columbia has $40,000 waiting to be used.The city did purchase equipment, courtesy of the agreement, when that contract was first signed.Weigold said the committee decided more investigation was necessary before making a decision on the issue.Fleck told the council he heard from a representative of the library who said previously-purchased equipment is serving a purpose.“The equipment we did receive is being utilized,” said Fleck. “I think it’s important that it’s not just sitting in a closet somewhere.”