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New video contract to save city money

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Aldermen tonight are scheduled to approve a new one-year agreement with Evanston Community Television to provide video recording services at city meetings for $50,000.

The new agreement represents a major saving for the city, compared to the roughly $400,000 a year the city funneled to the non-profit group, then known as the Evanston Community Media Center, as recently as 2009.

In the interim, the city has let ECTV move its operations into rent-free space in the municipal service center.

ECTV has continued to reduce staff, laying off its executive director last summer and two other employees more recently as it has struggled to gain financial support from private donors.

It also receives funding from Evanston/Skokie School District 65 to provide video recordings of school board meetings.

The new agreement, as outlined in a memo to aldermen from Matt Swentkofske, the city's intergovernmental affairs coordinator, provides that in return for the $50,000, ECTV will record up to 175 government meetings during the year and show them on Comcast cable channel 16 and on the ECTV.com website.

In addition, ECTV will train city staff on how to run the equipment used for meeting coverage.

Related stories

Media center agreement up for renewal (Nov. 27, 2012)

ECTV drops executive director in budget crunch (June 29, 2012)

Media center starts new studio buildout project (May 31, 2012)

Council OKs free rent for media center (Sept. 13, 2011)

Media center faces 40 percent cut (Jan 5, 2010)

Related document

Media center memo (Jan. 14, 2013)

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