MATEWAN — The Matewan Town Council met on Tuesday where they listened to several new business items listed on their agenda.
Matewan Mayor Sheila Kessler was not in attendance for the meeting. David Smith, recorder for the council proceeded to chair the meeting.
Scott Finn, executive director and CEO of West Virginia Public Broadcasting along with engineer Dave McClanahan came before the council to discuss the possibility of using the town’s tower near Mingo Central High School. According to Finn, WV Public Broadcasting hopes to place an antenna on top of the tower and a small box on the ground near the tower that would expand their coverage area into Matewan and surrounding areas.
“With our recent purchase of WVKM 106.7, we hope to use that frequency to supply Matewan and other areas with WV Public Broadcasting,” said Finn. “We would also like to schedule an hour of airtime for someone local with experience in radio to supply the area with local content.”
The council agreed that getting the frequency back to the area was something that was needed.
Finn also agreed that W. Va. Public Broadcasting would pay $100 each month for the use of the tower which would equal approximately $1,200 per year. McClanahan insisted that the antenna and box would in no way interfere with the tower.
“The antenna is about the size of a lawn chair and the box is approximately the size of a small college refrigerator,” said McClanahan.
“We were originally looking at building a new tower on the property,” said Finn. “But after inspection from Dave (McClanahan), we decided it would be most efficient to use the existing tower. We look forward to working with the town of Matewan and to providing the area with our services.”
The council agreed to allow Finn and McClanahan go forward with the process of placing the antenna on the tower.
Council member Tag Keith asked if Finn had provided any leased documents in the paperwork he provided for the council about the project.
“This is alot of paperwork to just walk in and be handed,” said Keith. “I think we should all take some time to read through this and hopefully we can get this sort of paperwork a few days ahead of time in the future.”
“We can do a motion to proceed pending approval of leased documents,” said Smith. “That doesn’t mean we are fully committed but that we can move forward to the next step.
The council agreed that they all needed time to look through the provided paperwork from Finn.
“We want to see WVKM and public broadcasting in this area,” said the Smith.
“We very much appreciate you wanting to come in Mingo County,” said council member Francine Jones.
“We have been wanting to for years,” replied McClanahan.
(Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. Madalin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 304-664-8225.)