Amendment to proposed city budget funds CAT-TV

Sep 4, 2013

Credit videocrab / Flickr

Columbia Access Television, or CAT-TV, is set to receive funding under the city's proposed fiscal budget.

The Columbia public access television channel was not originally included in the 2014 fiscal budget proposed by the Columbia City Council. But now, because of a$200,000 surplus from last year’s budget, the city council has amended the budget to provide that money to CAT-TV. Council members made the change during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

City Manager Mike Matthes says the reason the public access channel was originally left off the budget was because the agreement that funded CAT-TV for five years had expired. Matthes says he was not surprised that the amendment was made.

“I recognize it’s an asset. Many people have participated and enjoy CAT,” Matthes said.  “This is really just a math problem and not any sort of judgment on their value.”

Chip Gubera is an MU professor and director of new learning opportunities in the (university's) IT program, who says CAT-TV has provided many of his students valuable, professional experience. Gubera says he was adamant that the city of Columbia continue to provide funding for CAT-TV, and he expressed concern about funding for CAT-TV beyond next year.

“It looks like they have since found that money, at least some of the money, to fund CAT Television for at least another year. Now that’s just for one year,” Gubera said. “It would be great if they continued to fund this great resource that we have in CAT Television in continuing years.”

The Columbia City Council is scheduled to vote on the 2014 fiscal year budget during its meeting on September 16.