August 21, 2013 - As it prepares to move to Clarkston High School, the local public access channel bought six new cameras for $13,000 at overstockdigital.com.
"We wanted to get some less technical cameras for students and the public to use. The six new cameras will be simpler with less buttons and they will also be sturdier," said Independence Township Pat Kittle.
Kittle said the township also plans to spend about $70,000 to upgrade the main meeting room at the school administration building on Clarkston Road, in which the Board of Education meets.
Independence Television (ITV) plans to record and air school board meetings, but some work needs to be done to fix technical equipment.
Kittle said the room is like a "big echo chamber," so work must be done before broadcasting the meetings can begin. He added new cameras also need to be purchased.
In September 2012, the township spent $200,000 on cameras, equipment, and upgrades to the Maybee Road studio.
The township is currently bidding on several other pieces of equipment including an outdoor television kit and three outdoor cameras with onsite mixing. With the new equipment, events can immediately be put on the air, said Kittle.
In July, the township and school district approved a joint agreement to close down the ITV studio on Maybee Road, and move equipment and studio to the high school.
Money for the new equipment comes from cable fees accumulated by the township.
"We wanted to leverage some of the Public Education and Government (PEG) funds in the account, which is now at around $500,000," Kittle said.
The money is regulated, and can only be used for capital purchases like equipment for the studio.
The new equipment is in addition to $200,000 a year payments from the township to the school district under a Capital Lease Arrangement.
ITV Program Manager Joe Barnhart said the move to the school is expected to happen soon, and will be complete by the start of the school year, Sept. 3.
Barnhart said new cable lines need to be installed at high school before completing the move.
The township and schools are in the process of appointing members of the seven-person committee to oversee ITV.