When the city of Centralia is struggling with a budget shortfall for this year approaching a half million dollars, it seems things such as local public access television would be especially low on the priority list.
Essential basic public services that governments traditionally provide, such as police and fire protection and provision of utility service, must be at the top of the list. The money the city now allocates to CCTV, through a contract expiring a year from this July, comes into the general fund and could be allocated to higher priorities were it not for that commitment.
Whether the city is reneging on its 1995 contract with the local public access station, CCTV, is open to question. The dispute mainly revolves around a SI01,000 claim the CCTV board has filed against the city for what CCTV alleges are delinquent payments going back to 1995.
Meantime, the claim has been rejected by the city’s insurance carrier and City Manager Tom Reber said this week the city will make no more payments to CCTV while the claim is pending. Rightfully so. Decide on the claim fast.