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N. Aurora debates whether to remain in cable and telecommunications consortium

Fox Valley Television provides programming for village

NORTH AURORA – Village trustees are debating whether North Aurora should remain a member of the Southwest Fox Valley Cable and Telecommunications Consortium.

The consortium board coordinates cable and telecommunications services for North Aurora, Plano, Sandwich and Yorkville. North Aurora has been a member of the consortium since about 2002.

Trustees discussed the issue at Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting. The issue came up because the village's current franchise agreement with Comcast expires in September.

The consortium oversees the public access programming for Fox Valley Television, a public and government access channel serving North Aurora, Plano, Sandwich and Yorkville. The channel is carried on Comcast cable Channel 17. Government access programming is available on Channel 10.

The village's intergovernmental agreement with the consortium provides that 40 percent of the cable franchise fees are paid to the consortium.

"In 2008, the consortium began refunding fees, and about half of the fees that the consortium has received have been rebated back to the communities since that time," North Aurora village attorney Kevin Drendel told trustees.

Village Trustee Laura Curtis questioned whether the village should continue in the consortium. She wondered how much programming Fox Valley Television provides for North Aurora. She said "it seems like a large cost for very little benefit."

Mike Rennels, the manager of public access programming for Fox Valley Television, said he would like to work with the village.

"We would like to do more, but we need your help with that," Rennels said. "We're your television station. We're here to work with you."

Village Trustee Chris Faber said the village hasn't done much to promote Fox Valley Television.

"It doesn't mean that we can't in the future," Faber said.

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