continued Rotterdam and Niskayuna pay the same $5,000 annual fee. Morris said Schenectady funds around $100,000 of the operation budget, which totaled around $150,000 this year. The city “sponsors” the county, Morris said, with County Legislature meetings also aired.
The Town of Glenville’s position has brought static to the countywide plan, though. The town’s residents receive their public access programming through Saratoga County and the town would have to pay around $12,000 to move the transmission infrastructure to Schenectady County. The town doesn’t pay Saratoga County anything for airing Town Board meetings and other content.
Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle said there are no plans to pay the $5,000 fee OSM is asking.
“Top pay for access to the community channel seems counter to what it is supposed to be,” Koetzle said. “Our residents have never been charged for access to this. We are currently not being charged for access, and we don’t believe residents should be charged.”
Other towns wouldn’t have to pay the additional $12,000, Koetzle said, but they also don’t have another option like Glenville.
Morris contests the $5,000 fee is “a deal” for what the towns are offered in return.
“It is a lot cheaper than doing it themselves, so it is a good deal,” he said.
In addition to having town board meetings aired, residents also gain access to all the facilities and assistance OSM offers. Since Glenville and Scotia don’t pay the annual fee, their residents can’t access any facilities or submit a video to be aired on OSM.
“It isn’t about being aggressively punitive; it is about participating fairly,” Morris said.
OSM will be working with all the school districts throughout the county at no cost, Morris said, including the Scotia-Glenville Central School District. He said Open Stage has been looking to enhance its educational channel.