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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro radio station requests $2K from towns

The community-driven radio station WCOM 103.5 has given back to Chapel Hill and Carrboro for almost 10 years and is now reaching out to town officials for funding assistance. 

Art Menius and Bill McClymont, representatives from the radio station, presented a grant proposal to a joint meeting of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro human services advisory board on Monday for a total of $2,000 — asking for $1,000 from each town.

WCOM is a Carrboro-based radio station that provides an outlet for locals to volunteer as disc jockeys and hosts. The station aims to create a place where overlooked and unrepresented ideas can be expressed.

McClymont said the station is requesting money to improve its facilities.

“Until recently, we operated with little reserve and raised money as a direct result of an extraordinary expense like moving or equipment replacement,” he said.

Carrboro resident Linda Hadenson said she’s listened to the station for several years now and thinks the station is very deserving of the grant.

“I usually listen to WCOM when I’m in the car driving around town, and I really love the diversity of programs they have,” she said.

Trent Baker, another Carrboro resident, said he listens to WCOM in the mornings before he leaves for work and hopes they receive the grant.

“They have a little of everything for everybody, and I always learn something new when I listen to them,” he said.

Carrboro alderwoman Bethany Chaney said the board will likely approve the grant by the end of the fiscal year. 

“We really love WCOM because it is a true community radio,” she said. “It’s the only community-owned media that we have in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area that is not affiliated with the University.”

Chaney said as a nonprofit, the station does everything it can to raise funds.

“WCOM is deserving of public support because they make a really good effort to raise private money,” she said.

McClymont said the station went to Carrboro and Chapel Hill town officials for funding because both towns announced they were accepting grant applications for the next fiscal year.

“We service both communities and the presentation has to be made to a joint Carrboro-Chapel Hill committee,” he said. “We also applied for a grant from Orange County along with other entities.”

McClymont said if the station is awarded the grant, he will move forward with improving its facilities.

“We have production facilities that need to be updated, studio improvements, including the possibility of adding cameras for video feeds, and equipment redundancy,” he said.

Chaney said along with its diversity of programming, the station offers a sense of local flavor.

“We think they add value to the community and add value to what we do,” she said. “It’s worth investing in them.”

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