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Funding from Pitt County Government

On May 22, 2012, the GPAT Board of Directors was informed of a proposed plan by Pitt County Government to cut all funding to GPAT23 in the county's 2013 budget. During 2011-2012, the county supported GPAT operations with $16,000 annually, which represented 23 percent of the budgeted revenue.

On June 4, 2012 during the public comment period of the regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners, GPAT Chairperson Cherie Speller addressed the board with a plea to continue funding:  

Later, during that June 4 meeting, County Manager Scott Elliot spoke about GPAT. Commissioner Melvin McLawhorn made a motion to provide partial funding for GPAT. The motion did not receive a second:

 

On Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 7pm, the County Commissioners held a public hearing on the 2012-2013 budget. Twenty people attended to support the return of funding of GPAT.

Photo of County Commissioners Meeting

Ten people addressed the County Commissioners about GPAT23:
Daily Reflector Story about public hearing.
Pitt County Commissioners decided to provide $0 to assist GPAT operation in providing Community Television to Pitt County.
Here are some highlights of the channel:
• Pitt County citizens have provided an average of 117 unique programs each month from January through April of this year.
• A GPAT-sponsored program hosted by Mary Smith, executive director of REAL Crisis Center, features nonprofit organizations in Pitt County, allowing their representatives to explain their services and needs to the community. Many of these organizations have reported that they receive phone calls about their services each time their program airs on GPAT.
• Another series, GPAT Neighborhood, has featured many county programs and efforts, including the Pitt County Educational Foundation, the East Carolina Village of Yesteryear, the Task Force to End Chronic Homelessness, the Grifton Museum, A Time for Science Nature and Science Learning Center, the Pitt County Development Commission and the Farmville Community Arts Council.
• The Pitt Community College program coordinated by Outreach Director Ernis Lee explains the vast array of educational opportunities the college offers. The program aired on GPAT is credited for alerting Pitt citizens to new job-related opportunities. The most recent example is the college’s logging program that went from two students to 25 after information about it was aired on the channel.
• The religious programming aired each Sunday and Wednesday is extremely popular, especially among the county’s shut-in population. Our viewers are most vocal when this programming is interrupted. Our biggest single donation to the channel has been from a religious organization that paid about $400 to replace a DVD player to be sure its programming could continue.
• GPAT is the only access channel that can air political programming. So, during each election season, the channel provides each valid candidate on a Pitt County ballot the opportunity to create a 30-minute program to introduce herself or himself to county citizens and to explain his/her views on issues.
• GPAT occasionally goes on location to tape programming, such as the meetings held by county officials and commissioners in northern Pitt County.
• Recognizing that not all Pitt County citizens have or can receive Suddenlink cable services, GPAT streams its programming on its Web site at gpattv.org to provide more access to information provided through the channel.
• While GPAT is funded primarily through the county and the City of Greenville, the channel also has pursued other revenue streams, including collecting some taping and editing fees and seeking grant funding.
Pitt County Commissioners:
BETH B. WARD, CHAIRMAN 252.355.7724 bwardelizabeth@gmail.com
JIMMY GARRIS, VICE CHAIRMAN 252.756.2748 garrisjimmy@yahoo.com
DAVID HAMMOND, 252.756.9639
EUGENE JAMES, 252.752.6336 BelvoirJ@embarqmail.com
TOM JOHNSON, Sr., 752-1796 thjohnson1304@suddenlink.net
MELVIN C. McLAWHORN, 252.355.7290 king2006mac@yahoo.com
MARK W. OWENS, JR., 252.758.4276 252.228.0075
EPHRAIGM SMITH, 252.746.4620 csehsmith@gmail.com
GLEN WEBB, 252.375.4460 glen.webb@ymail.com

Other links:

Greenville Guardian supports GPAT Funding

Thomas Lynch letter to commissioners

NC Legislation regarding funding of PEG Channels