More Funding For CAT-3
Although Cable Access Television does not turn a high profit, those who work on it say it is still work all the time.
"I think it's a very unique place, where people in the community can learn these skills that otherwise take a lot of expense and a lot of time," said station volunteer Janel Martin-Miranda.
However, for the last few years, Columbia Access staff did not know if they could keep the station alive. Due to some vague wording in the law, the cable companies were not supporting the station.
"All they were willing to put up was about a hundred thousand dollars in startup equipment and thirty thousand dollars a year for administration," said CAT-3 director Elizabeth Federici. "Who can run a television channel on $30,000 a year?"
A new addition to Columbia's budget may give CAT-3 a little more breathing room.
"It will be coming from new revenues that will be collected from the cable companies and from the video service providers like CenturyTel," said Columbia Public Communications director Toni Messina
CAT-3 said they know they have the support to make good use of the funds they are given.
"Our cameras are checked out every weekend, every single camera. And I have a waiting list," Federici said.
The new city revenues could mean up to $300,000 more for the station.