Champaign City Council to discuss disbanding cable commission

The Champaign City Council will continue to look to both bolster the economy while making cuts in other areas when it meets Tuesday night, including a vote to disband Champaign-Urbana Cable Television and Telecommunications Commission.

The commission is currently charged with overseeing the operation of the cable television system and serving as an advisor to the city council on cable television-related matters. The commission has been involved in a number of large scale telecommunication projects, such as AT&T’s U-Verse, big broadband, and the transition to a digital broadcast model.

However, the commission’s role has been greatly limited in recent years due to federal law and changes in state law which has taken away most of the power of local regulatory agencies. State and federal law now cover much of what had been the responsibility of the commision.

If the council votes to dissolve the commission, Champaign will save around $2,218 per year and allow for the reallocation of staff toward to other projects, which would be beneficial when the danger of staff cuts affects many organizations.

The council spent last week’s study session listening to proposals for spending cuts regarding the budget for the next fiscal year. While those decisions will have repercussions in millions of dollars, this week’s meeting will focus on the here-and-now aspects of Champaign County, although further discussion of the proposed budget is still expected.

The city council meeting will convene at 7 p.m. in Champaign City Hall, 102 N. Neil St.