Cable Department Overview
The Cable Department serves as a communication conduit between our local government and its residents. The services provided by the Cable Department provide a resource to keep residents informed of Village activities and help build a sense of community. Channel 98 provides local government meetings, school event coverage and community programming to McFarland residents and portions of the Towns of Blooming Grove and Dunn.
Cable 98 is not funded by the general fund tax dollars, rather it is funded by a cable franchise fee. Cable subscribers pay the franchise fee to Charter Communications, the Village cable provider. An additional 25 cents per subscriber per month also is collected for the sole purpose of equipment replacement. The Department does generate some revenue from the sale of tapes and services rendered.
The Station provides an instant live information exchange to nearly 70% of the households in the Village. The Station also provides the E.D. Locke Public Library with copies of Village government meetings so that citizens have almost "live" access to Village meetings. Additional communication efforts provided by the Cable Department include administration and continued development of the Village website, including postings of all Comprehensive Plan Meeting information.
Village ordinances that relate to cable operations can be found in Article V. Standing Committees, Division 2. Communications and Technology Committee.
Below is a more comprehensive list of services provided:
- Live coverage of Village government meetings, Plan Commission meetings and Comprehensive Plan Committee meetings
- Live coverage of School District meetings
- Coverage of other important community events:
Ex: Family Festival, Citizen of the Year, community band concerts, community group annual meetings, Legion ceremonies, Memorial Day parade and graduation, etc.
- Providing Community Bulletin Board with public service announcements for community organizations (PTO, churches, Optimists, Chamber of Commerce, Family Festival, Boy Scouts, Food Pantry, and Music Boosters), Village departments, McFarland schools, and the McFarland Youth Center.
- Posting of Snow Emergency declarations and school closings
- Tape duplication services
- Resolution of resident complaints pertaining to cable service and local Cable issues.
Planning oversight and development of Village website, including calendars, staff contact information, Village services information, Comprehensive Plan information and maps.
Both the website and Cable 98 impact community relations and outreach with the community.
Additional services provided by the Cable Department:
Resolution of staff technology-related questions
Consultation and internal support services to other Village staff
Department training material development
Emergency government duties
Capital equipment planning and the capital budgets
Cable facilities planning, racking, wiring and equipment maintenance, including maintaining Cable Department computer systems.
Identifying issues, opportunities, and policy options for consideration by Communication and Technology Committee and Village Board.