Council ready to seek bids for new equipment for Everett TV
EVERETT - In a small room near the entrance to the council chambers, Everett TV’s video equipment is faltering.
Everett TV broadcasts council meetings for a city-run channel and the Internet. The equipment is nine years old, and sometimes parts are no longer available. The city will open up bids for new equipment this spring to the tune of $400,000.
When it came to the point of buying equipment last spring, council members balked at the price and questioned why they were not invited to participate in the decision-making process. The low bid at the time came in at about $469,000 because of errors in the bidding process. The council expected to only allocate $250,000.
At the time, city officials revealed Everett TV has $1.7 million in unspent money raised from a monthly $1 fee charged to Comcast and Frontier cable subscribers. That money only can go toward equipment, not the operating costs of running Everett TV.
After learning of the unspent money, the council rejected all bids last spring, halted the $1 fee and Everett TV’s management went back to the drawing board.
This year, things are different.
Everett TV has scaled back its request for equipment replacement, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.
The new request will improve picture and sound quality at the council chambers studio only, Reardon said.
“We hope it will carry us another good eight to 10 years, but I can’t say,” she said.
Council members will be involved this time around. Councilman Drew Nielsen is set to be on the bid selection team, and other yet-to-be-determined council members will be part of the process, purchasing manager Clark Langstraat said.
The request is coming before council a year later because Everett TV had to work on the council’s timeline for purchasing items, Reardon said.
The money will come out of the $1.7 million fund. The council has not restarted the monthly $1 fee since halting it in May.
Everett TV is shown on channel 21 for Comcast customers and channel 29 for Frontier customers.
By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published Feb. 15, 2012