HCTV Board of Directors Minutes: May 10, 2016

Hardwick Community Television
Minutes of May 10, 2016

Present: board members Kurt Bos, Rachel Kane, Emily Lanxner, Nancy Kellogg and David Mitchell, and Station Manager Leif Goldberg.

Meeting called to order at 7:10

Minutes of the previous meeting of February 9, 2016, were approved.

Financial Reports:
Balance Sheet:
Leif reports that Hazel Greaves has been working on clearing up the accounts, but it is not finished yet. The Fixed Assets are now itemized. The accounts are tidy enough now to take to the bank, and the station has been tentatively approved for a loan of up to 15,000 at the Merchants Bank.
Balance Sheet approved by vote.

Profit and Loss Report:
Things are looking pretty good at the moment. Report approved.

Station Report:
Leif attended a meeting of VAN (Vermont Access Network) and found it educational. Some of the discussion at that meeting was that Comcast will need a renewal of the certificate of public good from the Public Service Board. VAN has assembled 2000 pages of testimony to support Comcast, but is inserting some provisos, for example Comcast promised an HD (High Definition) channel to HCTV (and other stations), yet we haven’t heard a peep about that since. Also it was promised that HCTV be listed on the program guide, so that TV customers will be aware of our station and programming. If approved, the next Comcast contract will be for 11 years.

Much new material has been filmed and added to the station roster lately, and more is upcoming. The Kiwanis asked Leif to create a PSA. There are plans to film activities at Atkins Field for CAE, Food Shelf, and NEK Kids on the Move. For Spring Festival John Lussier will again announce the parade, and it will be filmed. Emily reminds us that it is important for our town records to film the parades, and to do it well.
Graduations at both Hazen Union and Hardwick Elementary will be filmed. Eric Remick of the Hardwick Select Board has asked that the Hardwick Electric meetings be filmed. There is talk of looking for a student to film these meeting, at least occasionally, and talk of paying someone $50 to do so. Leif has a young person from Morrisville who might be willing to do this. Dave offers to film the Hardwick Electric meetings, as he is on that board as well.
Emily talks at length about the Education Task Force, recently created in Hardwick. It is looking for ways to integrate school and community, and Emily feels there is great potential in having kids prepare and film shows about their own interests. The task force will be trying to get some grant money to propel this idea along. The board members agree that it is a fine idea, one which we will support as much as possible, once some direction is made clear.

Broadcast System Discussion
The board and staff have previously agreed that the broadcast equipment needs to be updated. Leif has been grappling with details, comparing the offers from 2 different systems, Telvue Hypercaster and Tightrope Cablecast. They have slightly different technology, but the end product is the same. Both will upgrade HCTV to HD, in the event that Comcast gives us HD (and we already have the equipment to put out HD programming). If and when we do upgrade, Comcast will put in a fiberoptic connection, which upgrade the cable signal. However, the discussion is not over. For while the above mentioned upgrade will make our current cable-delivered programming look great, it will not do a whit for the quality of our online content. Some of the board wonder if we should put the money into the unknown, and very local, number of cable customers, or put money into improving the quality of our programs for those who might watch on computers and the like. This begs the question – who are the audiences, and to whom does HCTV devote the programming towards? Leif is tasked with getting more information about how we can improve the internet output, and will bring this information the annual meeting.

Other Business:
Fundraising – We have the go ahead for a coin drop this summer, on Wolcott St, the dates have yet to be set. The Kiwanis will let us have the bottle drop in 2017, for at least a portion of the year. We need some bigger ideas.
Meeting adjourned 8:37 pm