City to disband cable committee, form communications committee
MCTV facilities to move to former city hall
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The city of Marshfield is making further changes to coincide with the restructuring of their communications operations.
Tom Loucks was recently brought on in a newly created communications director position and the city is currently hiring for a second position in the department, as they set to end their current contract with an outside cable coordinator company on March 31.
Mayor Bob McManus said that the cable committee’s primary purpose was to oversee the outside Marshfield Community Television (MCTV) contractor, which is no longer necessary.
“The cable committee was more or less oversight, because we subbed it out,” said McManus. “Now we’re bringing it in house. It is going to be a communications committee; that can really help on the creativity on the different things that we can do, and I think people will really enjoy being a part of that committee because that will really shape the communication that we do with the city.”
The city will open the new communication committee to former cable committee members, as well as others from the community.
“The intent is that it would be effective May 1 of this year,” said City Administrator Steve Barg, “and the reason for the because, first of all we have to adopt an ordinance that would disband the cable TV committee and establish the communications committee… we need to have on paper what that committee would be expected to do and what their make-up would be; but, the reason for the May 1 is because in late April the mayor makes his annual appointments to all of the committees, so that is a perfect time to say ‘we are interested in seeing if you want to continue.’
“What they’ve been doing for the longest time is they’ve been supposedly involved in oversight, which means: Are the bill correct? Are they getting complaints? – that is more managing at that level.”
Barg said that the committee would now be more hands on with the cable station and that they would seek new members that want to be involved.
“We want them to have a knowledge of communication and hopefully where they’re going to want to participate and volunteer in helping in getting these things done,” McManus added.
Barg said that the city would be looking for diversity in age and backgrounds. “Maybe a couple that are in business who know what business communications are about; maybe somebody from a community group or the school district, who sees where we maybe fall short in terms of trying to connect with other agencies what we are doing; maybe some common citizens who are at home trying to get information and they’ve gone to the website and they are not seeing it – they are not able learn what our program s and services are; a mix of different demographics and backgrounds.”
The city is planning to relocate the MCTV from its current location to the old city hall building on Central Avenue.
A relocation of a current tenant inside the building will free up space that will now be utilized by MCTV.
“What we are doing is a lease for space No. 1 – the former massage space – and space No. 3 – which is the old conference room across from Hefko Floral. Space No. 3 is going to be the studio for MCTV. We will be setting up to shoot programs,” Barg explained. “Space No. 1 will be the office where (Loucks) and his new assistant media specialist will be operating out of.”
Mayor McManus said that the rent going to the current property is around $38,000 per year. With utilities, the cost amounts to approximately $42-$43,000.
“That alone is going down to $12,000,” he said. “It is just an enormous savings. And, we are literally renting from ourselves, so we are not going to write ourself a check. But, these will be in effect at market rate, so in the event that the building does get sold then we are in there and we are paying market rent. Until then, though, we are really not going to have any cost. That is a $40,000 savings alone just in that one part.”
The city is also entering a three-year lease agreement with Marshfield Tennis Association for the tennis courts.
Barg added that “solid tenants, good-paying tenants” serve as a positive in selling the old “City Hall Plaza” which remains on the market.
“Potential buyers want to see committed leases and rent; that they know they’ve got cash flow that they can count on,” he said.
If you are interested in serving on the communications committee, contact the Mayor’s Office at City Hall.