Calaveras County community TV may be looking for new home
SAN ANDREAS, Feb 18, 2013 (The Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Calaveras County Water District may soon sell the land occupied by the Calaveras County Television studio to the county government.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved sending a letter asking CCWD officials to negotiate a sale. And CCWD General Manager Mitchell Dion said Wednesday the agency welcomes that invitation.
CCTV records and distributes, via cable, video of public government meetings and a variety of other public-interest and community programming.
CCTV has occupied a site behind the Calaveras County Water District headquarters building on Highway 49 in San Andreas since 1991.
But CCWD is completing a new headquarters building off of Pool Station Road on the far side of town. After Water District staff move to the new site in July, the plan is to sell the old site as surplus property.
If a new owner chose, they could bulldoze the structures presently on the property and start over.
Rather than let that happen to the studio, CCTV leaders asked the county to purchase the property.
Calaveras County has been deeply involved with CCTV since 2001, when the county government began managing the studio for CCTV.
Calaveras County receives funds from commercial cable television franchise fees and uses those funds to support public access television. That means people who don't own video cameras can tape shows and then show them on the public access channel.
CCWD has been leasing the land to the television studio for $1 per year. Calaveras County has been spending far more than that to maintain and operate the studio. The county's payment to cover mortgage, insurance and maintenance of the studio is $18,000 a year.
It not clear how much the land is worth. CCWD would have to carve the studio site into a separate parcel and find a way to create a legal access to it across the remainder of the property.
No one knows how long the talks will take.
"It is not like anyone is knocking down the door to buy this piece of real estate, so I think we have some time," Dion said.
Contact reporter Dana M. Nichols at (209) 607-1361 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his blog at recordnet.com/calaverasblog.
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