Southampton’s public access channel, , may soon have a $1 million home of its own on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike next to the , if the town board decides to bond for the project.
The channel, which broadcasts governmental meetings, community events and arts programs, currently rents space in a Bridgehampton industrial park. SEA-TV needs its own space to provide better programming and to get young people involved in broadcasting, said Josephine DiVincenzi, the chair of SEA-TV's board.
“We need a permanent home if we’re truly going to achieve the mission of the channel,” DiVincenzi said.
in Water Mill designed the 5,000-square-foot building, which features a relaxed living room-style studio and a more formal one, as well as a kitchen studio, said the channel’s executive director, Bruce Nalepinski.
The upstairs features storage space and balconies for filming from above in the studios, Nalepinski said. He added that the building — planned to be "green" to cut down on future energy costs — will cost $80 per square foot.
“We’re only spending what we think can come in with revenues,” Nalepinski said.
SEA-TV currently operates off 25 percent of Southampton Town’s Cablevision franchise fees, a figure that was projected to total about $313,000 in 2011, according to a copy of the adopted budget online. Franchise fees are an extra cost the company’s customers pay on their bills.
But, that 25 percent figure may change to “up to 30 percent” of the franchise fees if the town board passes a resolution adopting the alteration at its Sept. 27 meeting.
According to the proposed resolution, the town board has determined that the channel should be as financially independent as possible and that the 25 percent portion of the franchise fees may be “more than the town is able to provide to support the channel.”
The change is meant to help the town board more actively participate in funding the channel, according to a copy of the law.
To help fund the new building and be financially independent, the channel also unveiled a detailed sponsorship and underwriting business plan at Friday’s work session. SEA-TV plans to offer sponsorship opportunities on the television broadcast and online, said Robert Florio, a member of the SEA-TV committee.
He added, if the town board issues bonds to pay for the building, repayment will not start until 2013, so the channel has time to ramp up its funding. The committee estimated bond service payments of $59,452 per year.
The channel aims to find 38 sponsorships worth $49,200 in 2012 and 58 sponsorships worth $79,200 in 2013, according to documents disseminated at the work session. The figures are after commissions for a salesperson, according to the documents.