In other action at the Redding City Council’s July 16 meeting, the council:
Voted 3-2 to approve a three-year agreement with the Shasta County Arts Council to operate the city’s public access TV channels, which are carried by Charter cable. The vote, with council members Patrick Jones and Gary Cadd dissenting, brought to an end the tumultuous transition from the channels’ previous operator, Redding Community Access Corporation (RCAC), to the arts council.
The public access TV channels 8, 11 and 26 are paid for by fees Redding collects from Charter under the cable provider’s franchise agreement with the city. Those fees amount to about $70,000 a year.
RCAC’s operation of the access channels was called into question over management issues and the city invited interested groups to submit proposals. The Shasta County Arts Council, under the direction of Executive Director Debra Lucero, was selected in March. The previous agreement allowed RCAC to keep the equipment it had purchased over the years.
As part of the agreement, the city will advance the arts council $50,000 in franchise fees to help the nonprofit organization establish a TV studio in Old City Hall that the public can use to produce programs for Channel 11.
In explaining his objection, Councilman Cadd said he wanted to ensure the new contract protects the public and prevents another situation where the city loses control of equipment purchased with the Charter fees.
— Voted 5-0 to shelve further discussion on a proposal to switch the collection schedule of curbside recycling and green waste bins from weekly to every other week. In February, the council asked the Solid Waste Division to study the switch to biweekly pickup with the goal of reducing wear and tear on residential streets from the heavy garbage trucks.
Paul Clemens, a utilities manager in the Solid Waste Division, said the switch to biweekly service would reduce the heavy truck trips by 30 percent for a savings of approximately $251,000 in street maintenance costs.
On the flip side, however, Clemens said there would be fewer trucks, but they would be carrying heavier loads. In addition, customers faced with full recycling and green waste bins would be likely to start putting that material in their gray garbage bins and ultimately using up more valuable landfill capacity.
In the end, councilors agreed the potential cost savings were not enough to offset customer complaints and the potential lack of compliance with the city’s ambitious recycling program.
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.