BRTV, Lifeflight of Maine request Boothbay funding

Public access channel requesting $10,000 more from town
Mon, 03/05/2018 - 7:30am

Boothbay selectmen heard from the final two nonprofits requesting funding, during the board’s three hour and 15 minute meeting Feb. 28. Boothbay Region Television received $20,000 from the town last year and requested an additional $10,000 for fiscal year 2019. Station Manager Cody Mitchell explained the public access cable channel had expanded services in the past year which required additional revenue.

The town receives approximately $32,000 per year in cable franchise fees from Spectrum. Boothbay Harbor has traditionally appropriated all municipal cable franchise fees to the cable access channel. BRTV is hoping the town of Boothbay will follow suit.

Mitchell explained live streaming events like local basketball games and municipal meetings has been an expensive venture, one which can’t be recouped through fees for other BRTV broadcast outlets like the internet, apps, Roku or Apple TV.

“We want to keep growing by providing new services which will bring educational opportunities to both adults and students in the community,” Mitchell said. “Boothbay Harbor gives the full amount (of the fees) and we feel if Boothbay gave the full amount it would go a long way toward enhancing programs. We strongly believe this will benefit the public.”

Unlike BRTV, Lifeflight of Maine Foundation did not receive a financial contribution last year from the town. Lifeflight of Maine Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that provides fundraising and public relations support to LifeFlight of Maine. The foundation raises funds for aircraft, medical equipment, hospital helipads, statewide aviation improvements and educational outreach programs offered.

The foundation requested $780. Chairman Dan Bookman reported Lifeflight of Maine responded to 39 of 53 calls to Lincoln County last year. The missed calls were attributed to foul weather along the Midcoast. Bookman is hoping Boothbay will join the other 177 Maine communities who provided financial assistance to the foundation. Bookman reported the foundation along with many other Maine nonprofits receive substantial funding from wealthy philanthropists and large foundations.

“There are probably 400 doors which would pay for most of Maine’s nonprofits’ yearly operation,” Bookman said. “We look for support from Maine communities to help us tell our story more effectively. Large private donors are more likely to contribute if they see communities we serve also making a contribution.”

Selectmen received 13 non-profit groups’ requests for funding. The board will hold a public hearing in two weeks seeking feedback about non-profit requests and Bryer’s proposed $1,908,984.52 fiscal year 2019 budget, and proposed town meeting warrant articles.

Selectmen Chuck Cunningham and Kristina Ford agreed to work as a two-person committee to prepare the municipal warrant for the public hearing. They will make minor wording changes and correct typos in time to post the proposed warrant for publication in the Boothbay Register prior to the hearing. Ford offered to pay for the public notice regarding the public hearing.

Selectmen will hold the hearing at 7 p.m. prior to their March 14 board meeting.