Columbia Access Television is set to receive funding once again under the city's newly proposed budget.
CAT-TV, was not originally included in the fiscal year 2014 budget proposed by the Columbia City Council. But now, because of a $200,000 surplus from last year, the city council has amended the budget to provide that money to CAT-TV. Council members made the change during Tuesday's city council meeting.
City Manager Mike Matthes says the public access channel was originally left off the budget because the agreement that funded it had expired. Matthes says he was not surprised that the amendment was made.
"I recognize it’s an asset," he said. "Many people have participated and enjoy CAT. 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. He 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.