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Helicopter test run MSG..input requested proposed $277,000 cable TV studio
Release Date: September 20, 2006

MadisonSquareGardenhas their training facilities for the NY Knicks, Rangers, Libertyteams in Greenburgh. They have requested permission from the town to establish a privately owned helicopter landing area at the MSG training facility in Greenburgh.  According to MSG’s June 29, 2004letter there would be an average of 3 helicopter landings/departures each week. The landing area will also be available for emergency use by the NYS Police and the Westchester County Police as well as by emergency medevac providers and for disaster response programs.

On Friday morning, September 22, at 9:30 AM, I will join Thomas Madden of the Greenburgh Planning Dept and Gil Kaminer, aide to members of the Town Council, on a flyover over the flight path. Then we will head over to the residential neighborhoods to experience the quality of life issues neighbors will experience if the helicopter flies over their homes. If you live in north Greenburgh and want to observe the flight – please advise. We can provide you with possible locations so you can observe the test flights in person.  E mail pfeiner@greenburghny.com.

CABLE TV STUDIO…

During the past few years a number of constituents have suggested that the town place a state of the art cable TV studio at GreenburghTown Hall. Yesterday, at our Town Board work session, we discussed the bids that came in for the TV studio. The cost was substantially higher than originally anticipated: $277,770. Some of the funds to build the studio could come from PEG funds (non tax payer dollars that are allocated as a result of cable TV franchise agreements specifically for cable TV purposes). We currently have about $120,000 in PEG dollars. The balance has to come from other sources- which could include taxpayer dollars.

Currently, the town has a studio at Town Hall that is used for cable TV productions. According to George Malone about 4 or 5 programs are taped each week at the studio.

These are the questions/issues I have:

1)       Would the town get more for our dollar if we located the new cable TV studio at the library (which will be undergoing extensive expansion/renovation) than at Town Hall? If one looks beyond the construction period there is a certain logic to placing the studio at the library. The library hours, nights and weekends are more accessible to the public. In addition, more teenagers (who might be interested in producing cable TV shows) might want to produce shows. It’s possible that the library might want to sponsor numerous cable TV shows if we had our state of the art studio at the library –book clubs, children’s programs, etc… I personally think that more people will produce shows at the library than at Town Hall – just my opinion.

2)       There would be an immediate benefit to the library if we pursue the above suggestion. One of the concerns I have with the $277,000 proposal is that there will be a substantial amount of construction inside Town Hall for about 3 months. The current library will soon close down. Satellite library locations are proposed by the library board. Among the suggestions: space at our current GreenburghTown Hall. If the town does not move the mailroom, change TV studio locations, move people to different offices in Town Hall – we will free up the proposed space at Town Hall and could provide the library with additional temporary space during the construction period--- making the library transition smoother. In addition, library patrons who visit town hall will not be walking around another construction site.

3)       A third issue: Should we spend only non taxpayer dollars on the cable TV studio? As I indicated, PEG dollars are not taxpayer dollars—they are allocated only for cable TV purposes. We currently do not have adequate funds from PEG dollars to pay for the studio construction/ renovations at Town Hall. I have asked the Town Attorney for an opinion: Can the town advance the funds and get reimbursed. We will be received a substantial amount of PEG dollars after we sign the franchise agreements with Cablevision and Verizon. No franchise has been approved as of yet—but the franchise agreements are close to agreement.

4)        If the town decides to only spend non taxpayer dollars on the cable TV studio – can we use PEG dollars for interior changes at Town Hall (moving offices, mailroom) since the relocation of offices will take place only as a result of the cable TV move. How much tax dollars will have to be spent?

5)        The current proposal is expensive because it requires the introduction of a new air conditioning unit to compensate for the heat load generated by the theatrical lighting system. How much would it cost if we enhanced the current cable TV studio located at Town Hall to meet the standards residents expect?

6)       We should think ahead. Technology is changing quickly. I believe that in the future more people will have personal digital cameras and these cameras will become an alternative to fixed studio confinement. Delivering a ready for broadcast disc is now more likely vs work done as a cable studio production for these public access purposes.

The town might want to use PEG dollars to purchase new generation equipment to edit and add ‘effects’. The equipment of tomorrow is not really space consuming.

Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

PAUL FEINER




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