Cable subscribers who want to learn more about the activities of city officials might soon have that opportunity, as Augusta ventures into the realm of government access television.
The channel would be a venue for watching Augusta Commission and committee meetings, learning more about government initiatives such as sales tax projects and safety programs, and finding out other information such as job opportunities, said Gary Hewett, the city’s deputy information technology director.
Hewett and Tameka Allen, the city’s IT director and deputy administrator, developed the proposal, but didn’t want to move too far along without commission approval, Hewett said.
While the channel would be free, the plan would cost the city about $180,000 for equipment – such as a small TV studio and production software – plus the expense of paying staff to produce the content, Hewett said.
The department looked to other cities with government channels, such as Columbus, Ga., as a model, he said.
CCGTV, the consolidated Columbus-Muscogee government channel, shows a program lineup of community announcements, a Fort Benning report, “Earth Notes” from Keep Columbus Beautiful, CCGTV News Watch, council meeting videos, a Latino channel and job listings.
“We’re going to be looking for content anywhere we can get it,” Hewett said, including from nonprofits, which could submit professionally done reports to air on the channel.
The proposal goes before the city’s public safety and information technology committee Monday.
Commissioner Bill Lockett, a member of the committee, said Friday that he’d only given the plan a tentative look but planned to consider it further over the weekend.
“How much is it going to cost us, and how much is it going to benefit us?” he said.