The city’s governing body has approved the takeover of the Cablevision studio on Ellison Street. City officials said they would like to run a digital library out of the location along with an online school to help city drop-outs to obtain their high school equivalency certificates.
“I think the administration has a very comprehensive plan,” said William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman.
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres has been touting the digital library as the first in the state of New Jersey during his town hall meetings. The digital library will include access to research databases, online newspapers, jobs boards, according to library officials.
The administration also hopes to offer hope to at least three dozen residents, who for one reason or another were unable to obtain their high school diplomas, by teaming up with the city’s school district to run an online school.
City officials also said the city will team up with Passaic County Community College to offer additional resources to residents. The college will be able to utilize the space for itself as well.
“Who is going to run it?” asked Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, during city council session last Tuesday.
Business administrator Nellie Pou told Cotton city broadcast specialist John Ming and Michael Taylor, video producer from the college, will play active roles in running the studio.
“We still have to work on the agreements,” said Cindy Czesak, library director, to the council. She said the city will enter into shared services agreements with the college and the school district.
“It’s a very unique kind of partnership you have the school district, the city, the library, and the Passaic County Community College,” said Czesak. She said all four entities have a goal to increase access to technology for residents.
Czesak said the district will be paying the city to use the space to house its Extended Opportunity Program for recent drop-outs. It’s not clear how much the district will pay. Cablevision will continue to pay $340,000 for the upkeep of the studio despite ceding operations control to the city, according to city officials.
Much of the money paid to the city by the cable company goes towards paying the lease of the building, according to city officials.
Council members approved the memorandum of understanding with the cable company to take over operation and management of the broadcasting studio referred to as the Paterson Access Studio on January 20th, 2015.