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New cameras for video center



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September 25, 2013 - Independence Television (ITV) has a new home, equipment and staff.

Independence Township Board of Trustees voted, Sept. 10, to accept a request for $100,000 to purchase an outdoor camera kit and new cameras.

Purchases include six new cameras for $18,500 from B& H Photo Video, previously quoted at $13,000 from the online seller, and an outdoor camera kit for $82,000.

In August, the board accepted a quote for new camera equipment from an online website, but the deal fell through when the seller would not accept the township's credit card and instead requested a wire transfer of funds before the equipment was sent.

"A quick conversation with the finance director, the treasurer and myself came up unanimous, that was dumb," said Program Manager Joe Barnhardt. "We proved the axiom, 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is.'"

The Sept. 10 quotes for new cameras was for the same equipment approved in August, as well as some additional equipment. The price was higher, but the increased cost included a switcher, and audio and graphic systems to record community events, Barnhart said.

Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle said the new equipment will be easier for residents and students to use.

"It will also allow for an event to be recorded and edited onsite," he said.

Purchasing the camera kits were part of three improvement projects in the joint agrgeement to move Independence Television (ITV) from its Maybee Road studio to Clarkston High School.

Also, the Independence Township Board axed a previous proposal to rewire the meeting room of the Clarkston Board of Education.

Kittle said he met with Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock, and they decided the school district will pay for the $22,000 rewiring and technology upgrade project out of the Video Center Fund.

When school board room rewiring is complete, the school board meetings will be recorded and broadcast on ITV.

"We cannot take the rewiring project with us if this marriage does not work out," Kittle said

All three projects, including two equipment upgrades and the rewiring project, were originally estimated to cost between $70,000 and $80,000 to complete. With just the cameras costing $82,000, the total will be higher, he said.

The township agreed to provide $200,000 annually to the school district under the capital lease arrangement.

In addition to the move and the new equipment, some new faces will also be at ITV.

Staff changes include hiring two new employees, and Barnhart moving from full-time to a part-time employee. Kittle added two employees were hired and started on Monday.

Clarkston School Board also approved the hiring of a full-time employee for the studio, funded through the capital lease fund.

Staff writer
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