Herald JournalHerald Journal, Sept. 22, 2003

Winsted working on getting its own cable channel

By Julie Yurek

The City of Winsted may have its own cable channel in time for the holidays.

The city council discussed purchasing newer equipment that would allow broadcasting of council meetings, church services, and perhaps high school sporting events, at Tuesday's meeting.

The council approved City Administrator Brent Mareck to obtain a timeline of when the city could have the equipment operational.

Mareck was working with Moorhead Media to put together a package of options for the city.

Mayor Don Guggemos doesn't see the need for a studio full of equipment, he said, only enough to broadcast events and information.

Council Member Pastor Gerald Boldt is interested in the project because he and Father Paul Wolf have shut-ins in their parishes, St. John's Lutheran and Holy Trinity Church, he said.

Guggemos recommended talking to Lester Prairie, Silver Lake, and Howard Lake to see if those cities would like to participate in the service.

Winsted is currently a part of three-city cable commission, with Lester Prairie and Silver Lake.

However, the commission has had difficulty in coordinating meetings and outdated equipment has limited local access channel (LAC) programming.

The current balance of the cable fund is $54,461, which constitutes franchise fees from Winsted and Lester Prairie.

Silver Lake put all its franchise dollars into its general fund months ago.

Winsted has about 54 percent of the subscribers, so it has about $30,000 of the cable fund.

The council discussed venturing out with its own cable channel in June. Cable commission member James Redfield of Lester Prairie approached the council in July to discuss keeping the joint commission instead of each city pursuing its own interests.

The council agreed to gather more information and discuss the issue in the future.

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