Show goes on till end of year

Tiffin City Council passed an ordinance providing funds to continue broadcasting council meetings on Time Warner Cable until the end of the year at a special meeting Monday.

Keith Hodkinson, president and CEO of Seneca County Radio, spoke about the ordinance and said he will not cease carrying the council broadcast and instead is to stop carrying the live feed to Time Warner Cable.

“We would continue to record it and carry it on our station and make it available as a … video on demand that (residents) could watch starting the very next day,” he said. “And we keep those up for months. We had no intention of stopping … the recording of city council meetings.”

He said that he has been paying the contractors to do the broadcast and at this point is doing the broadcast as a public service. If the city were to subsidize an additional $100 a month, Hodkinson said, he would be able to continue the broadcast on Time Warner Cable.

He said that in the next six months, he hopes to carry it live online in addition to recording it.

Hodkinson said each meeting averages about 100 viewers online.

“I think it’s a no-brain decision,” Mayor Aaron Montz said. “I’ve been approached by a lot of people since we’ve discussed this saying that they watch it. … It kind of surprised me at the influx of people who told me they watched it.”

Council moved to amend the ordinance to pay $100 per month to keep council meetings on Time Warner Cable until the end of the year.

Council moved to suspend the three-reading rule, and the ordinance was passed 6-0.

Hodkinson also thanked Clouse Construction, Heidelberg University and North Central Ohio Educational Service Center for sponsoring the broadcast.

“They’ve been gracious,” Hodkinson said. “They truly did step forward.”

Council President Paul Elchert commended the sponsors for giving back to the community.

Elchert also asked council to consider increasing the salary of council clerk to $8,250.

He compared it to the Fostoria council clerk’s salary of $8,000.

Montz also said that because Karl’s Hauling is closing its recycling center, the council would have to consider alternatives. His suggestion was switching to curbside hauling and using one hauler to pick up recyclables.

He said if the city mandated that all haulers do curbside pickup, rates would increase for residents.

He also said city residents were not encouraged to take their recycling to township recycling centers.

Elchert said he would like to get community input before making a decision.

Montz said he intended to submit written communication at the next council meeting.