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Media Center cut $150K

Aldermen Wednesday voted to split the difference on budget cuts proposed for the Evanston Community Media Center.

Media Center Executive Director Steve Bartlebaugh told the City Council he and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz had worked out a compromise plan on funding.

Bobkiewicz had initially proposed slicing $200,000 from the roughly $440,000 in support the city provides to the center’s $500,000 budget each year.

Bartlebaugh had responded with a proposal to take a $100,000 cut, saying anything more would force the center to close.

After discussion about the size of the center’s reserves and what they could be used for, the two came up with a compromise plan under which the center’s city subsidy would be cut $150,000 this year and the center would provide more production support for city-produced programs about city government and would stop charging the city extra for covering government meetings.

The compromise assumes that a plan will be developed within the next several months to move the center out of the private building that it now rents for $95,000 a year and into rent-free facilities owned by the city or Evanston Township High School.

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