Rock Falls to upgrade Channel 5 capabilities

Move will cost Comcast subscribers an extra $1.92 over 12-month period

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 1:37 p.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – Comcast customers in Rock Falls will soon pay a little more to help upgrade the city’s public information network.

City Council members Wednesday approved a 12-month, 16-cent-a-month fee increase – $1.92 total – that takes effect May 1.

The city will pay $5,055 for the upgrade, and money raised over the 12-month period will be used to pay it back, said City Administrator Robbin Blackert.

A provision in the city’s contract with Comcast allows it to upgrade the equipment used for its public access TV station, City Clerk Bill Wescott said.

City Council meetings, held the first and third Tuesday of every month, are broadcast live on Channel 5. The upgrade will allow the city to buy a camera and recorder so the meetings can be rebroadcast, Blackert said.

The current equipment is at least a decade old, she added.

The money will be used to buy software and hardware, a battery backup, a new recorder and other equipment.

She didn’t know how many people watch City Council meeting broadcasts, but “whether people choose to use it or not, we’re putting it out there, giving them the opportunity,” Blackert said.

“That’s what we feel is important. It’s a good connection to the community.”

Blackert also said she hopes department heads will be featured in service announcements that air on Channel 5. The video messages will be “a lot more personable” than the static slide announcements, she said.

To attend

The Rock Falls City Council meets next at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St. The meeting also will air live on Comcast Channel 5.

The agenda will be posted at rockfalls61071.com and at City Hall. Call 815-622-1100 for more information.

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