Council awards contract for City NINE equipment

Published 3:47 pm Thursday, April 13, 2017

An aging City NINE system will be getting new equipment and software to help it improve its efficiency and carry out its mission.

During its meeting Monday, Washington’s City Council accepted Encore Broadcast Solutions’ low bid of $49,858.50 to provide the new equipment and software. Onyx Technical Services submitted a $61,241.45 bid. The current PEG equipment and software are past their life expectancy, according to David Carraway, the city’s information technology director and the PEG channel’s programmer.

According to Carraway, $50,000 for the upgrades was included in the current budget.

The existing equipment is more than 10 years old. Microsoft ended its support of the software in 2016, according to a memorandum from Carraway to the mayor and council members.

City NINE is Washington’s PEG channel on the local Suddenlink cable TV line-up. PEG is an acronym that represents a public, educational and government TV channel. While City NINE provides programming related to area events — City Council meetings, festival coverage, education programs and informational programs — it also provides entertainment in the form of classic TV shows, most of them in black-and-white format. City NINE also shows movies. The old TV shows, cartoons and movies are in the public domain, meaning the public may use them.

Videos of City Council meetings, for the most part, are show during prime-time hours (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) so people who are not able to attend the meetings may view them after normal business hours.

During a council meeting in August 2016, Councilman Doug Mercer said he believes showing City Council meetings at specific times would help the city do a better job of informing city residents and others about city business. Mercer and Councilman Larry Beeman said showing council meetings later in the evening instead of around 6 p.m. would attract more adult viewers because small children would be in bed later in the evenings.

In other business, the council appointed Ann-Marie Montague to the Human Relations Council to fill a vacant position. Her term expires June 30, 2019. Montague is director of Eagle’s Wings, a Washington-based food pantry.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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