Appleton, Minn. -- Pioneer Public Television has collected and recorded stories from area Vietnam War veterans for a local documentary to be shown in advance of the national release of THE VIETNAM WAR by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Appropriation for critical equipment for Pioneer Public TV’s new studio included in recently passed state bonding bill
GRANITE FALLS, Minn. -- The Capital Investment Bill recently passed by the Minnesota Legislature includes $1.95 million for equipment at Pioneer Public Television's new building in Granite Falls. The bill was approved by lawmakers in the final hours of a special session on May 26. The bill was signed by Governor Dayton on Tuesday, May 29. This investment will help to fill a portion of the funding needs for PPTV as it moves toward its vision at the new studio campus. An additional $2.5 million will be needed from private sources to complete the total new studio financing package.
"All of us at Pioneer greatly appreciate receiving legislative support for equipment at our new facility in Granite Falls," said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen. "The funds will allow us to purchase permanent studio lighting, relay towers and other critical infrastructure to allow us to start broadcasting from the new building."
The appropriation bill for the facility was introduced earlier in the session by Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent and Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls. The final capital investment bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support under the leadership of Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester; Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City and Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul.
The legislative appropriation will set Pioneer on a year-long transition process to move into the new building. One of the most time-consuming parts of that process will be building microwave relay towers to connect the new building to Pioneer's existing regional transmission tower near Appleton where it feeds Pioneer’s regional broadcast network across southwest and western Minnesota to towers near Worthington and Fergus Falls. Another major component will be equipping a new 24-7 master control center in the new building.
"We have been very fortunate to have the generous gift of Ron and Diane Fagen to provide the building, legislative support for the equipment and our members to keep our great programs going," said Pat Kubly, Pioneer’s board chair. "In the coming months, we will be reaching out to our members and new friends in the communities we serve to ask for additional support that will help make the most of this new facility. We look forward to many years of great regional programming from the new studio.”