Payments on Gardner’s documentary have almost been completed towards the $27,000 approved by the city council last year. The quality of life piece is set to air on public television, and should be completed this Spring. Invoice courtesy of City of Gardner


A $27,000 documentary approved by the Gardner City Council last year has not yet aired, but should broadcast this spring. It will feature Laurence Fishburne as narrator.
Under a Kansas Open Records request for a copy of the video and schedule dates, Sharon Rose, city clerk, said Gardner did not have a copy of the video, but it was expected to air this Spring.
In the April 15, 2019, consent agenda, the city authorized the interim city administrator to enter into an agreement with Information Matrix, a Florida corporation, to produce and distribute video content about Gardner to air on public and network television stations.
To date, all but the final payment of about $7,800 has been paid to the company, under the name Education Alliance.
The programming, to run under the banner of “great places to live, work and raise a family,” will include a 3-5 minute short documentary. The documentary will bridge the gap between 30-60 minute shows on public television. The videos will also include a 5-6 minute “behind the scenes” documentary that will be emailed to viewers requesting information about great places to live, work and raise a family.
According to the 2019 information, Iinformation Matrix will produce an educational spot for major networks that will air once nationally in all 50 states and 400 times regionally in the top 100 cities based on population.
The segments will be hosted by Laurence Fishburne and will air on such stations as MCNBC, CNN and CNBC. The city will know the airing schedule prior to actual airings and will receive airing affidavits directly from the major networks after the segments air.
Mayor Steve Shute and staff conducted due diligence regarding Information Matrix’s proposal, including discussions with Martin Mini of KCADC who reviewed the proposal and pledged his support, stating KCADC will assist the city to achieve additional promotional benefits using the b-roll footage obtained from Information Matrix, Laura Gourley then-interim administrator said.
The project costs $27,000 and will be paid from the economic development reserve fund as a reallocation of the previously approved $115,000 for the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Gourley told the council last April that because of the delayed opening of the Hampton Inn, the city will experience a decrease in 2019 transient guest tax revenues, and the funding for CVB activities will be delayed.
Noting the reduced revenues and delayed CVB activities, Gourley said at the time that she polled members of the Economic Development Council and obtained majority approval to reallocate a portion of the $115,000 previously approved in the 2019-2020 biennial budged for CVB activities to use for the Information matrix proposal.
According to the end of year treasurer’s report, book balance for the economic development/transient guest tax was $51,987 on Dec. 31, compared to $32,297 on Jan. 1, 2019.