Imagine a community radio station with soft rock and country music, news from Knowlton, Sutton and Cowansville and everything in between, interviews with local personalities, phone-in shows that tackle local issues. Imagine mostly English, but French as well. Shows on local arts, local history, sports, business and more.

That is the vision of the team at CIDI-99.1, the ‘heart of the Townships’ local English community radio station. “We know people want local content. We know there is an important role for CIDI to play in the community. That is what we are trying to deliver,” says Eamon Hoey, chairman of the CIDI board. “We have great music already. We need more. We are getting there.”

Nick Stahl

Hoey, Hans Rutten and other volunteers have been working for more than a year to reshape the business, pay off debt left over from a previous administration, and develop new programming to complement shows like the ever popular ‘Burning Bush’ hosted by Ralf Bushenbaum, and ‘Veronica’s Lounge’.

Jim Ferrier

It has been an uphill climb, and Rutten says that the road ahead is steep. But the CIDI crew is determined to turn CIDI into a go-to source of entertainment and information, and a forum for the exchange of ideas. “We have received excellent guidance from community leaders about what our priorities should be,” Rutten says.

Improving the signal, which is spotty across the region, is a priority. Generating more ad revenue and attracting volunteers to host and produce new shows is a must. The station is looking for a host and producers for a two-hour classical music show. It is also recruit- ing an ad salesperson.

The team is excited about the progress made. The signal is expected to improve once the tower is moved to a new location. One employee and a summer student have been hired. The website, http://cidi991.com/ which streams programming, is being updated. CIDI is also working on a plan to hire journalists and public affairs hosts so that CIDI can carry news and information, and host phone-in shows so that people can share their views and concerns.

To get involved, call Marilyn DeWit at 450-305-1195. Visit CIDI’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cidifm/